Julia Hayes

Location: London
Website: hayesjulia.wordpress.com

Julia Hayes’s diverse practice is drawn out of an idealised and celebratory view of humanity at play. Drawings, performance, and textile pieces combine to establish a landscape of celebration. The production of positive idealised festive body born of human cooperation becomes a principle focus of the work. And the aim is not to offer critique or to celebrate but to examine the ambivalence of carnival laughter and transgression as in Mikhail Bakhtin’s text, Rabelais and His World. Seeking to identify these idealised Bakhtinian activities in alternative surroundings, distanced from yet connected to the medieval Christian world of Rabelais.

A wide and inclusive approach is adopted in the choice of sources and subject: celebration community, transgressions, rituals and the human behaviours associated with these states become the setting, the characters and the nourishment attendant at this carnival of production.

With a particular focus on a conceived archetype of the Fat Man, Julia Hayes plays out an awkward contemporary relationship with Fatness and embraces him as an ambiguous and ambivalent carnival figure. Particular features are picked out, often imagined as vulgar, bawdy, and clown like figures. The figures are enacting scenes that enable a ‘revolutionary power’ of laughter. They become a hybrid portrait of humanity unified in the process of the creation of community celebration. This display becomes an amalgamation of her enthusiasm and measured satire directed at festive human behaviour and all it’s excesses, indiscretions and impoliteness.

The work draws inspiration a range of sources including Goya’s painting; ‘The Burial of the Sardines’, the ritual of flaying herrings in Dunkirk, Northern France and the war of the chitterlings, an episode from the novel ‘Pantagruel and Gargantua’ by Rabelais. She also makes references to the medieval collection of Poems and songs, Carmina Burana. Embracing the randomness and chaos of the Wheel of Fortune and recreating examples of an ancient and futile attempts to either stall or encourage the seasons.

Julia Hayes graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2012. She has recently exhibited with Limoncello and the Pump House Gallery, Battersea and was shortlisted for the Bedwyr Williams Award for Humorous performance, an event hosted by Ceri Hand Gallery. She is due to exhibit at the Royal Academy in Stockholm for the 15th Bakhtin Conference.


2014 There will be Growth in the Next Quarter - 15th Bakhtin Conference, Stockholm, Sweden.

2014 Performance: The Rite of Much, Bow Arts Open Studios Event.

2014 Open Up North, Brewery Arts, Kendal

2013 Chance//Action, Kingsgate Studio, London

2013 A Painting and Performance show, Winter Projects London

2013 Mise-en-scene, Bow Arts Open, London selected by Cullinan Richards

2013 Ceri Hand Gallery Summer Fete, London

2013 Take Me Out, Limoncello Gallery presentation at London Art Fair

2012 Peckham Olympiad, Curated by Asylum arts Peckham

2012 Merthyr Rising – collaboration with Dan Rees, New Galerie, Paris

2012 Between the Acres of The Rye, Stoke Newington Gallery, London

2011 I’m Keeping these Arseholes Elizabeth House 7th Floor, Waterloo London

2011 Future Pump House, Thoughts, Ideas and Plans, Pump House Gallery, London

2011 Interim Show, Royal Collage of Art, London

2010 A Painting show, 15 Howie Street, London

2009 231, Greaferstr 8, Berlin,

2009 There’s Something I’d Like to Tell You, IMA Village Galleries, Berlin,

2009 The Fleet Rises, Departures Gallery, Nomadic gallery based in London

2007 Retrospective of Resident Artists, Muse at 269, London

2005 May Fete with a Twist, Cecil Sharp House, London

2005 Introduction to Artists in Residence, Muse at 269 Gallery, London

2004 Degree show, Camberwell College Of Arts, London

Solo Exhibitions

2013 Game of Seasonal Supremacy, Winter Projects – London

2006 The Excess of the Carnival, Muse at 269 Gallery, London

2005 The Mask Series, Muse at 269 Gallery, London

2005 The Tumultuous Crowd, Muse at 269 Gallery, London

Artist in Residence

2011 Cite International des Arts, Paris

2004 – 2005 The Muse at 269 Gallery, London


2012 The Bedwyr Williams award for Humorous performance – The Fat Man gives his statement to the House

2012 The Tale of The Fat Man

2010 The Feast of the Fat Man, Sackler Building RCA London

2009 Member of collaborative performance group, the Folkloric and Artistic Group of Dhalaristan. Based in Berlin, Germany


Shortlisted for the Deutsche Bank creative enterprise award


2005 Arts Council funded commission. Design of 6 masks for a traditional British Dance Group, Morris Offspring. Performed at South Bank Centre London

Curatorial Projects

2009 Curated ‘There’s Something I’d like to Tell You’, A group exhibition of Eleven British Artists based in London and Berlin, IMA Village Galleries, Berlin.


Teller Magazine, 1st Edition, Sept 2010 Published in London and Berlin

It’s All in The Delivery, 1st Edition, Dec 2011 Published in London