Hugh Hayden creates art furniture that doesn’t prime for its functionality. His pieces are unpredictable in shape as it leads the piece to have no utility at all, although they look incredible.
His furniture isn’t intended for human use. Crafting benches and chairs from pieces of wood without removing the original branches or twigs is something unusual. In these sculptural works, the stray forms make it nearly impossible to use the object as a piece of furniture. The shape of an Adirondack chair is present, like in his piece The Jones and Other Borrowed Ideas, yet its impediments make sitting an uncomfortable challenge.
Hayden’s embedded branches serve as a camouflage system that explores how his designed objects might blend into a natural landscape. His piece “Brier Patch,” which features six carved school desks, “juxtaposes the organic, unpredictability of the natural world (e.g. undergrowth, a thicket etc.) with the ordered and disciplined pursuit of education and greater civilization,” he explains. “The branches extending from the desks are entangled and materialize this integration into the landscape or environment, creating a visible, unifying space, that is at once protective and impenetrable.”
See also Design chairs by Rick Owens HERE!
His artwork is arrestingly beautiful but impossibly complicated. Hugh Hayden was one of the break-out stars of the Frieze Art Fair this year, where White Columns presented his picnic table sculpture created out of fallen Manhattan trees.
“Brier Patch” is composed of 6 school desks that appear inseparably interwoven by their own outgrowths. Hugh notes his intention to create “visible, unifying space that is at once protective and impenetrable”. His work is absolutely a mix of oppositions: drawing you near while blocking you out, recalling the joy of youth and fear of the present/future, nature vs man, life vs death – all open to diverse personal interpretations.