Refraction – Katie Hayles
The brushstrokes of Christchurch artist Katie Hayles evoke vivid impressionistic views of nature. Each piece is an escape from the noise of the world. Natural scenes are transformed with shimmering movement obtained through the layering and colour palette of her oil paints. Hayles creates spaces which reflect the serenity, harmony and balance she finds within the environment.
“I want to depict spaces where people might draw from their own experiences. Somewhere that invites that feeling of home.”
—Katie Hayles, 2023
The places depicted have a feeling of familiarity, reminiscent of a garden, tree or field visited. Dreamy, equiliuminant tones and stuttered application create an out-of-focus, flickering vision of scenes. This abstraction employed by Hayles adds to this warm nostalgic haze which pulls us into her paintings.
Her intuitive approach, through spontaneous, swift brushwork and freedom of colouristic expression, is employed to replicate the experience, gestures and cycles of the natural world. Each viewing of the works reveals new details to the eye. Distinct individual painterly marks, enjoyed up close, are enveloped into the shadows and lights within the compositions when viewed at a distance. Hayles paints with a consciousness of the human perspective, asking how we perceive the lessons of nature, the effects on our senses and the shifting of time.