Hayley Harrison paints and draws directly onto discarded plastic bags, packaging and paper. The debris of consumerism becomes a surface and container for painting. These awkward surfaces suggest ghostly terrains and topographies.  

Traditional mediums, such as ink, acrylic and oil pastels are layered on and within surfaces they aren't intended for. Unaccompanied by the products they transported and protected, abandoned waste is manipulated; twisted into crumples and folds they become 3D charts of unspecified realms. Washed away layers and drips allude to meteorological events and the passing of time. Wisps of blue, and segments of earthy colours hint at biospheres. Whether macrocosms or microcosms, the scale of these terrains is ambiguous. Human life forms are absent, represented only by their paraphernalia.

This transformed waste is a metaphor for the regurgitated ideologies and products that surround us, and of how difficult it is to keep an overview of what is meaningful amongst all this reconstituted clutter. 

Hayley Harrison is exploring the theory of an ecological unconsciousness; an intrinsic connection towards nature that we have lost. Her work responds to the contradiction of our reverence to nature and our indifference to the ecocide we consciously march toward. Nature has become something to conquer and control. We are captivated by the beauty of our planet, but often from afar, as a leisure pursuit. We dissociate and split from the damage we inflict to it and each other.

To regain the connection we have lost a cognitive shift is needed, such as The Overview Effect – a phenomenon observed by astronauts; from afar our planet is perceived as a blue marble, beautiful yet lonely and vulnerable, protected only by its thin blue atmosphere. Hayley Harrison is questioning how we here on Earth gain this perspective.


Hayley's studio practice is based in Haggerston - London please email for further information, to arrange a studio visit or to join Hayley's mailing list.