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Isabelle Hayman is a French artist based in London, born1969.

She trained as a textile designer at the ESAA Duperré in Paris, followed by a Master of fine arts from Paris I.

A large part of my work focuses on female portraits. Portraits showing the complexity of the female representation, layering different images in one portrait and focusing on details, posture, jewellery. Escaping from the idea of perfection, attempting to explore the multitude in our condition. I explore the numerous possibilities around the feminine figure by playing with jewellery, posture, accessories, trying to establish my own repertoire of shapes, geometry. The drawings are sometimes precise with small details and simultaneously loosely drawn with diluted ink and large strokes. The drawings are not registered in a specific period they offer a timeless quality. 

I started working on a series of botanical drawings in July 2018, following a short visit to Amsterdam. I was there for a day trip primarily to visit my show “women’s portraits” in Paul Smith’s boutique, the last of 4 exhibitions. Whilst at the Rijsk Museum I started the visit with the monumental room, the Gallery of Honour displaying Dutch masterpieces from the 17thCentury. The earthenware department is located in the ground floor in the Special Collection department displayed alongside jewellery, a collection of decorative keys and as well as arms. The earthenware collection amazed me, the display is dramatic, the pieces are displayed in large glass compartment on a black background. I could see the different influences in the delftware, the majolica from southern Europe and the eastern ceramic imported from Japan and China. I was fascinated by the idea of 17thcentury craftmen from different country or continent exploring simultaneously a similar technique using different motifs, trying to compete. I imagined the very skilled Dutch artists looking in awe at the imported pieces from the East brought back by the sea merchants. I formed this idea of connections across continents trough different patterns motifs, colour. I wanted to translate this idea by using shapes of vases, urns I had photographed at the museum and creating luxuriant foliage decorated with patterns taken from the Japanese katagami or African wax fabric. I like the phrase found in “Criminal Ornemantation” the book related to the exhibition curated by Yinka Shonibare, in which Michelle Kuo writes “ Ornament is migratory”.

In my recent paintings, I am addressing both the female representation as well as the decorative through the use of accessories and jewellery, mainly cameo.