Trinidadian artist, Hayden Smith, his wife Anna and son Johnathan, are three people I have enjoyed getting to know in the short space of time I’ve been working at the Art Society of T&T. They are a warm, kind and good-natured family and it is my honour to feature Hayden in part three of my Art Spaces series.
NEALA: Looking at Synergie de Trois, what was your thought process behind the pieces selected for this exhibition?
HAYDEN: When I was presented with the opportunity to exhibit in Synergie de Trois, I wanted to also create pieces that would blend in with the genres of the other artists, Felder and R. Gerard Fulchan. This is what inspired the abstracts. It started out as setting out to combine 2D and 3D concepts but also include a more spiritual perspective, as all of the pieces came from within. I represented two different styles for this show: realism and abstract. I love nature and try to get close to it and bond as often as possible. You will see this reflected in my realism pieces. I try bringing that beauty to my audience, as often our lives are so hectic that we tend not to notice life’s natural treasures.
NEALA: I am particularly drawn to the pieces created with wood elements, (like Unity). What inspired you to work with wood that way?
HAYDEN: I’ve always liked working with wood and seized the opportunity to develop a new technique to combine wood into my art, as a means of adding dimension to the pieces. Other materials used in some of the pieces are paper, metal and fibre.
NEALA: You told me once that you are a mechanical engineer. What, do you think, is the relationship between your profession and your creative outlet?
HAYDEN: The average person would not associate engineering and art as these two areas are often seen to have opposite thought processes. One is structured and precise, the other, one of utter freedom of expression. I see the combination as the window to unlimited creativity.
NEALA: This your second exhibition. Tell me what you enjoyed the most about it?
HAYDEN: With this exhibition, I really enjoyed working on developing the new style. It was one of total fun and wonder as there was no restriction to form or boundaries while creating the pieces. Each one evolved during the actual individual creation. I, however, missed working with my son as in the last exhibition. (In 2015, Hayden exhibited with his son, Johnathan Smith in Elementary, A Father and Son Exhibition.)
What’s next for you?
The sky is the limit. I hope to continue to develop new techniques and working with my son again. Maybe turning some of the events and experiences of the recent past into creative expressions.
I wish Hayden the very best. On a personal note, this piece captured me. There was movement to it. I loved the contrast between the dark, hard, angular wooden pieces and the fragile, bright pink, elliptical lines. I imagine that this is what the sound of wonder looks like. On many mornings during this exhibition I stood transfixed, hypnotised by the music of this piece.