Hayden Fowler – Artist Statement.




Text by Matthew Finnish.


Hayden Fowler graduated with honours in sculpture, from Sydney's College of Fine Arts in 2002. He was awarded a Basil and Muriel Hooper scholarship in 2000, was a finalist in the Helen Lempriere Traveling Art Scholarship in 2001 and is currently the University of New South Wales, Students Union's Artist in Residence.


Fowler uses images and installation in his exploration of juxtapositions between human origins, contemporary culture, utopian mythology and definitions of nature. He reveals a dark side, an artificial and fetishistic vision of the modern world and seems aware that the quest for freedom and a non-violated environment is impotent fantasy. He uses intensely familiar yet distant, super-real images of nature to probe the emotional and cultural loss that human kind has experienced in its’ displacement from and destruction of the natural world. His images and installations are at first experienced as evocative representations of utopia but then dull and recede into an uncomfortable nostalgia.


Fowler uses a conflicting array of materials. The immediacy and emotionally reminiscent nature of live grass, sound, animals and the naked human body are contradicted by the man-made infrastructures supporting them. Scaffolding, irrigation, lighting, exposed speakers, plumbing and electrical cables all act to deny the viewer of the utopia that they were first offered. His installation is theatrical and he uses tightly controlled sets in the construction of his images. Fowler draws consumer culture and capitalism into his work by re-deploying the visuals of advertising, mimicking campaigns that attempt to sell a feeling, a state of being, rather than a product. He incorporates the tools of mass media into his work through the use of posters, billboards and television sets. The distance and obscure origin, of the world he presents, is compounded by Fowler’s mediation of imagery through television and pixilated images and the work leaves one feeling somewhat ill-at-ease in its’ residual bleakness.


In his work, Fowler describes the hyper-real experience in a world over-run by spectacle. He recognises the problems of humankinds dismissal of its’ origins. By recreating these striking yet hauntingly mythical utopian scenes he evokes a certain wonderment and melancholy beauty from the realities of ecological and cultural chaos.




Hayden Fowler.

Born 24.01.73, Te Awamutu, New Zealand.


Contact Details.


Address:  134 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia.

Phone:  (02) 9212 2170

Mobile:  0405 305 768

E-mail:  haydenxhayden@hotmail.com




College of Fine Arts, UNSW, Sydney, Australia. (2000-2002)

BFA (first class hons.), sculpture major.


Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, New Zealand. (1998)

First year of BFA degree.


University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. (1993-1995)

Bsc, biology major.


Current Employment.


Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. (casual)

Preparator. Duties include art handling/packing, installation of artwork, assisting artists, gallery

preparation and maintenance.


Public Art Squad, Sydney. (casual)

Artist assistant.


Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Sydney. (casual)

Art installer.


Awards, Grants and Residencies.


UNSW Student Union artist Residency, current, May-August 2003.

UNSW Honours Scholarship, 2002.

Helen Lempriere Traveling Arts Scholarship, finalist 2001.

UNSW Student Association Gas-Scheme Grant, 2001 & 2002.

Basil and Muriel Hooper Scholarship, 2001.

Blackwood and Son Sculpture Prize, 2001.


Selected Exhibitions.


Postcards from utopia (solo): exhibition pending at conclusion of UNSW residency, August 2003.

COFA Annual: College of Fine Arts graduation exhibition, December 2002.

Members show: Gallery 4A, December 2003.

In the Flesh: First Draft Gallery, July 2002.

Progress in harmony (solo): Space 3, June 2002.

Expo: Imperial Slacks, February 2002.

Mint: COFA, December 2001.

Helen Lempriere Traveling Art Scholarship Exhibition: Artspace, April 2001.

Fusion: Melbourne Film Festival, May 2001.

A New Work: COFA B Block Gallery, August 2001.

Eat My Shorts: Carnivale Festival, Performance Space, October 2001.

Downwardly Mobile: Imperial Slacks, July 2000.

Furr: kudos Gallery, November 2000.

Class Act: Kudos Gallery, June 2000.

Suspect Packages: COFA Gallery, October 2000.

Zealot (solo): Doublequick Gallery, November 2000.

Push in, up and down to lock: COFA Gallery, May 2001.




The Sydney Morning Herald – Metropolitan.

- 18.04.01, page 16, Peter Hill, “The sound of 28 artists clamouring to be heard”.

- 02.03.02, page 10, Lenny Ann Low, “Expo 2002 – Imperial Slacks”.


UNSW College of Fine Arts Magazine.

- Issue four, autumn 2002, page 4, “Hayden Fowler”.


Lilac Menace.

-Issue 2, March 2003, pages 4-7, Millie Ross, “Supernatural memoirs of a lost land”.




Bonita Ely

Head of sculpture, performance and installation studies, UNSW College of Fine Arts.

(02) 9385 0752

0402 241 458



Michael Goldberg

Sydney College of the Arts.

(02) 9351 1082



Martin Sims

Honours Supervisor, College of Fine Arts.

(02) 9385 0655

0419 634 126