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"Derek Hyatt: Circle on the Dark Rock"
2004-09-15 until 2004-11-15
Shire Pottery Gallery and Studios
UK United Kingdom
Paintings and drawings exploring Derek Hyatt‚s continuing engagement with man, myth and the landscape; showing with hand-thrown studio porcelain by Ivar Mackay. Art critic Peter Fuller, writing in Modern Painters - Reflections on Modern Art 1993, describes Derek Hyatt as one of the most important painters of landscape in Britain - an affirmation which "Meetings on the Moor", Hyatt‚s celebrated 70-painting retrospective at the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford in 2001, justly confirmed.
Derek Hyatt was born in Ilkey in 1931, and educated at Leeds and the Royal College of Art, where he was awarded the Royal Scholar prize in 1955 and the J. Andrew Lloyd Scholarship for Landscape Painting in 1958. He taught at Leeds Polytechnic School of Creative Arts and Design from 1968 to 1984, and was made a Companion of the Guild of St George in 1990. His paintings and drawings feature in the public collections of major institutions such as the Universities of Leeds, Oxford, Harvard and Yale, as well as the De Beers Collection and the Museum of Modern Art, New York USA - a full list is available on request. Hyatt is also a published poet and writer.
The landscape, and in particular the high Northern moors, form the focus of Hyatt‚s physical and creative exploration. Hyatt is in touch with the moors. Within his works we recognise the incisive lines of stone walls and enclosures that define the topography of moorland landscapes. These are not barren places for him; rather they resonate with the echoes of earlier occupation.
Hyatt links threads of reference in his mark making to those of the prehistoric artists and shamans who carved symbols in places of now-mysterious significance. Their tools were antler tips and stone hammers - Hyatt‚s, brush and finger tip. He does not seek to explain these circles, loops, grooves and hollowed out cups on standing stones and rocks. His is the simpler desire to connect through the senses.
As he does in his poetry, Hyatt allows ideas, memories and free associations to enter into his work. He is playful with visual and verbal metaphor and mesmerising in his use of prismatic colour. Like Ruskin and the poet Ted Hughes, he believes in the concept of artist as shaman.
His works encourage us to transcend the intellectual boundaries of interpretation, liberating our imagination to delight in the objects of desire he has gathered from the land - a feather, sycamore seed, bird‚s skull - clues to trigger our subconscious. We fly with him above the landscape, traverse its surface, and enter into its substructure. It is an exhilarating journey.
Derek Hyatt has been invited to give a lecture at Tate Liverpool about the artist Paul Nash on Saturday 18th October 2 - 5 pm.