Body of Ours is an exploration of pain, pride and the idea of self. Documenting himself performing alongside a sculpture resembling a physical manifestation of the artist, Ollie Hayward has produced a body of work over the course of five sequences (the final being a video) that examine how each of us interacts with the often complex ideas we have of ourselves. The insecurities we keep hidden from the world akin to something dirty to the more admirable/acceptable traits we wear like an armour upon our bodies. This project looks directly at the sensory ways of being.
The flesh sculptures are both beautiful and monstrous. They symbolise the gut wrenching torment of self hatred; the rush of blood in a panic attack; the inner demons and lack of self worth; the painful journey we all go through understanding and accepting our flaws; wearing these like an armour in the face of adversity; the need and want to be loved, the pride we feel when it is reciprocated. The sculpture is everyone/part of us all. A grotesque but familiar "human" tumour of it all.
Genesis is a series of self portraits that document what is means to be a queer individual today. This body of work shows a genderfluid, androgynous figure that visually aims to break away from the normative/binary gender motifs we are used to seeing in society. The aim of this was to depict something which is a more accurate and accessible representation of what it means to feel “other”. Hence the name of the project, "Genesis", to signal the start of a new way of thinking.
"I wanted to capture something that, for me, was a better representation of what it is like as a queer person as I felt quite unrepresented in mainstream culture. When I look at the work now, I believe it creates a discourse about anyone's relation towards gender/sexuality and no longer just stems from my own narrative on identity. We each perform gender in our own right and I hope that this body of work can address this individually for each person who views it."
Inspired by abstraction and surrealism, Ollie Hayward has organically distorted images by shooting through glass, mirror and other materials to disrupt the figure. This further adds to idea that what you are witnessing is both new, undiscovered, and rather alien.
Gayngel is a series that looks at promoting positive ideas of self preservation, gender fluidity and sexual pride. It is a documentation of queer celebration rather than focusing on the important but equally binding politics and heavy discourse that surrounds queer culture.
"I wanted and I needed to express positivity, energy and light if not for others then just for myself. To become my own image of strength to look towards."