Who are we? A diverse, tolerant nation? What are Australian values? Are we ‘Australia Fair’? Hayes’ unrelenting gaze observes and reveals, exposing patterns of Australian cultural and social behaviours. He broadens the contexts to historical settings, global political trends, and consistently dissects what it is to be the animal ‘human’.
‘By a lie a man annihilates his dignity as a man’ – Immanuel Kant
Taking the wood from the only hospital to build a new casino is Cameron Hayes’ first solo exhibition to be held in Sydney. The multi-layered allegorical paintings of incredible intensity further develop themes present in his exhibition AUSTRALIA: A History of Terrogees presented by Australian Galleries at the Melbourne Art Fair in 2018. Themes of Australian politics, identity, history, popular culture, evolution, artwashing, morality, and fear. He has a knack for tapping into the social/cultural zeitgeists before they become a conscious discourse within the broader community – akin to a behind-the-news style of observation.
We are all connected – in similarities of self-deception, fear and delusion bordering on mass self-annihilation, with some respite offered in humour, curiosity and the creativity of human tenacity.
It is very difficult indeed to be a truth teller whilst looking in the mirror. But there is no preaching in Hayes’ works - there is awe, wonder and delightful absurdity. The formal, disciplined compositions, skilled colour arrangement, and academic-style research display links to the long tradition of narrative-style allegorical painting. The artist creates other worlds, momentous in their clamouring characters and motifs, all individually envisioned and precisely composed for movement and meaning.
‘There is in the world only the choice between loneliness and vulgarity’ – Arthur Schopenhauer
Since 2001 Hayes’ work has predominantly been exhibited in the US. It is with great privilege we present this body of work, large in scale and vision, by a unique Australian mind, painted between 2011 and 2019.
Cameron Hayes has been a finalist numerous times in The Blake Prize, Moet and Chandon fellowship 1994 and 1995, and the Sir John Sulman Art Prize in 1995, 1998, 2014 and 2015.
Hayes will be present at the opening, and will be conducting a floor talk on 2pm Saturday 7 September.
Taking the wood from the only hospital to build a new casino is current until 22 September 2019.
For more information visit: https://australiangalleries.com.au/