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  • Writer's pictureHaydn Dickenson


Regular and long-standing readers may remember earlier articles in which I have spoken of my creative process; of the very first fizzing sparks of that fire which is the genesis of a painting.

You will read, by following the above link, that I liken beginning a painting to opening a door; behind that door, I know not what will appear. It is a little like opening the wardrobe door and being transported into Narnia.

Under the best conditions, that is.

My artistic fingerprint has evolved over many years of painting. I love looking back at my very first forays into abstraction, around 2008 (I won't give you the blog-links to mentions of those – you'll have to search the list of posts, and do a bit of reading!) The results of these early missions (though naïve) thrill me – I remember so well the sensation of those steps into the unknown, and the impetus and energy of one person in particular who impelled me to embark on the rocky road towards abstraction.

Alright, I give in – here are two images, of very early paintings. Be kind!

IMPROMPTU - Haydn Dickenson 2008

UNTITLED - Haydn Dickenson 2008

Since those days, I have followed a path that has taken me through gestural, abstract-expressionist creation, dreamlike and metaphysical compositions, structural and urban influences, paintings that are deeply inspired by the natural world, spatial utterances (my most recent output), and much more. Always, they have been free of representational intent; they have been, and are, pure abstraction.

BRILLANTE - Haydn Dickenson 2019

THE LIES THAT CLOCKS TELL - Haydn Dickenson 2019


AFRODISIA - Haydn Dickenson 2015

It has been suggested by some that such a wide gamut of emotional, psychological and compositional elements indicates a lack of consistency in my work. I strongly disagree and urge viewers to look deeply into my paintings to uncover a fervently consistent and searching path. Portal-like shapes have always appeared in my pictures, leading the eye inwards to something beyond. Horizontal tiers or terraces conveying a sensation of ascension also abound. All the various approaches, though executed and expressed differently, share a common psychological direction.

FACE UP TO THE FACTS - Haydn Dickenson 2019

PROPULSION - Haydn Dickenson 2022

Warm colours, and the colours of the earth, flood many of my pictures; these derive from my love of nature. I may make forays into cooler tones from time to time, but woe betide anyone who opines that I am entering a 'blue phase' when I do so! In a similar way, red in my paintings rarely denotes 'anger'. Art is never so obvious.

I feel, artistically, that I want to be like a cow in a field – that I am able to graze, to move around with no constraints, to do what I want, when I want, to amble in peace while subject to neither instructions nor expectations; in fact, not only artistically do I wish to be that way, but in life itself. During the times in the studio when I do truly experience this feeling (and now is not particularly one of them), an creative zenith is achieved.

Some days I want to fling that metaphorical door open and embark on wild expressive mark-making, sometimes on mirage-like vistas of paint, and at other times, on structural, spatial compositions. I feel frustrated when I am asked to remain within some perceived 'style'.

Some years ago, I was interviewed by the gallery curator Beata Piechocka; you can read the interview on my website.

During her questioning, Beata observed the following: that my work is “balanced and logically constructed”, that there are “elements of both lyrical and geometric abstraction, sometimes intertwining” within them, and that they are “often economical in terms of artistic means, but expressive in outcome”.

I feel that Beata caught the essence of my work very well.

Art should reside triumphantly in a state of flux, not one of lazy, complacent immobility. Beautiful places can be revisited, discovered anew, explored more deeply, new ones can be chanced upon; but to stand still – I never want to do that.

COLLISION COURSE - Haydn Dickenson 2023

Copyright Haydn Dickenson 2023

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