Art words by Hayley Tompkins

Photography by Ruth Clark.
Detail of Digital Light Pools (Earthed), 2014. Photography by Ruth Clark.

Photography by Alan Dimmick
Photograph by Alan Dimmick
I live and work in Glasgow. It’s a great city – just small enough to allow you to feel part of something. When I first came here, I loved the clear light streaming through the windows of the art school building in Garnethill. It was uplifting and made everything feel possible.
My work is about reflecting on the appearance of things, my percep­tions of the world and how it feels. Feelings are difficult to pin down in artworks, but they’re undeniably there. I try to use doubt and vulnerability positively and creatively.
This piece was shown at the Common Guild in Glasgow last summer as part of an installation called Digital Light Pool (Earthed). The sandwich is made of plastic and is from a prop company. It is meant to look real but is completely synthetic. It sits in a tray of acrylic paint whose colour is fleshy and dense, perhaps suggesting skin or something warm and figurative. The image of the rainbow is a stock photo, bought online. I wanted something very normal and close at hand, such as a sandwich, placed next to a representation of some­thing enigmatic, scientific and distant, like the rainbow. One is possibly within reach, the other is pure spectacle.
I love when the process of working becomes almost automatic, as if a sort of synchronicity is taking place. You lose yourself slightly but remain highly alert to the object in hand or the painting you’re doing. I become less critical and less afraid, and that’s when the work starts to emerge. I recognise its highly personal vocabulary, mysterious even to me sometimes.
Hayley Tompkins’ work can be seen at The Persistence of Objects, a group show at Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland, until 30 August 2015.

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