The Skinny Showcase: Iain Hales

Gallery | 01 Nov 2012

Showcase: Iain Hales

Iain Hales is a Scottish artist currently living and working in London. He completed his BA in Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2005, before moving to London in 2007 to undertake an MFA in Sculpture at The Slade School of Fine Art, which he completed in 2009. Since then he has continued to work and exhibit; earlier this year, he had his first London solo show at COLE, and participated in Switch, the inaugural exhibition at BALTIC 39 in Newcastle, selected by Phyllida Barlow.

His works are primarily colourful assemblages that owe as much to the language of painting as that of sculpture. His influences and interests are wide ranging, citing architecture, the notion of the romantic ruin, history painting, 80s films, Memphis style, minimalism, Hockney in LA, memento mori, Arte Povera, Josef Albers’ Interaction of Colour, platonic solids, David Bachelor's Chromophobia to name but a few.

The work is essentially formal, but he hopes that by layering up his materials, forms, associations, references, colours, textures, titles that some new complex, confused, sometimes surreal, meaning can be achieved.

“I know this will sound incredibly banal, but I love looking at things. I kind of collect all of those things in my head: things I see in the street, that I see in films and in magazines, things I read in books, art I've looked at. All those things are stored up there [in my head], not in a conscious way, and as I'm working something will pop into my mind and that's the start. Then the next thing comes, and how does that sit against the first thing, and what colour should that be, and is it complementary or contrasting. And most of the time I misremember the things anyway, they get mixed up, that's probably the best bit, and so the works grow.

“My work is not really about anything, in the conceptual sense; it's very much in the nonverbal tradition. I feel that I'm trying to express something that I can't put into words; if I could, I'd just say it. It always seems to me that I'm feeling around the edge of meaning; it's in there, but it's always just out of reach, elusive. I hope I never catch it.”