Out of the woodwork


Glen Hayward talks about his new exhibition I don't want you to worry about me, I have met some Beautiful People.

How long did it take you make this work?

I started the work in June 2012 so about 10 months and it has pretty much been my focus during that time.

Do you make everything by hand?

I use a combination of machine and hand tools; whatever is appropriate to the particular piece.  The majority of this work is power tools as it is more of a construction than a carving.

What kind of wood do you use?

For this work I have used pine ply, pine and some totara and kauri for the smaller components.

How did you fix on the idea to recreate this scene?

It was primarily chosen because of the cubicle, this seemed to me to be not only fake as in digitally created but also the kind of minimum requirements for the illusion of a room.

Do you have your own matrix with which you filter your ideas?

Matrix no, I sort of think of a broken tea strainer as a metaphor for my ideas filter, some things get caught and most things pass through.

You have been quoted as saying "I set aside making art and started making things. I was trying to trigger the same instinctive curiosity with the things I make, and then to tie this in with Duchamp's 'gift' by using the viewer's suspicion that what they were looking at was the real object."  Do you still hold true to this?

Sculpture is a particular understanding that I have of the world, they are my connection to the world. I can’t imagine being without what I do, I can’t replace it with words spoken or written, or drawing, or photography it is how I understand the world. Why I exhibit is a fascination with the mystery of communication, that something from my side of the world is able to transmit and occur in whatever form on your side.

Describe a typical day in your studio.

The studio is about 250 metres from the house, I start late about 11am, after feeding the chooks, spend a couple of hours figuring things out and getting ready for the day, break for lunch go back at 2pm work on stuff, like making art, break for dinner about 7pm go back about 9pm and work until I don’t feel that I have wasted the potential that was the day.

Walter Benjamin said of writing, “The more circumspectly you delay writing down an idea, the more maturely developed it will be on surrendering itself.” Do you find this to be true of your practice?

I can’t really imagine having anything comparable in my thinking to someone of the stature of Benjamin.

I find that the idea often unfolds as I am making the work and I have so few ideas that I try to grab them before they leave.  If the idea it is any good I feel this responsibility to not stuff it up.

What one thing is driving your practice at the moment?

I drive a Toyota Hilux

Are you sure we shouldn’t be worrying about you?

The title comes from a Tom Wolfe book on Ken Kesey and the merry pranksters, it is the beginning of typical letter that a someone would send home to family after they had left to join the counterculture revolution in the 60s. I imagine that Thomas Anderson would have written something similar to his mother. I left Auckland some years ago to live in the Hokianga to be more self sufficient so in some senses. I understand the impulse and yes I did meet some Beautiful People.