Penelope Hayes, Iconic Female Images

I have brought home clay and tools and have been sitting in my window seat to make the pieces. The next piece drying out and nearly ready for firing is ‘Nefertiti’. The third will be Queen Elizabeth I.  I’ve enjoyed researching for which women or looks I want to use – I’m not usually that good at carrying through research into what I create.  Usually most pieces have come spontaneously.

Fortunately my studio is walking distance so can pop in occasionally – as part of my allowed daily exercise – to drop off work made and to fire pieces. We don’t have to come in to contact with anyone while in our studios but generally, because of lockdown, there isn’t anyone there and it feels very cold and uninspiring without other people being around.  Last week was sunny and working in my window seat at home in the sun was, in fact, very pleasant, although have to try and not spread clay all over the lounge and kitchen! I think the fact that everyone is in the same boat stops me feeling sorry for myself or isolated.

As I live on my own things aren’t really much different and I keep in touch with friends and family by phone and the internet – although miss meeting up for a cuppa, chat and cake!  The main thing I’m missing is playing tennis.  All the courts have been locked to prevent groups of people forming.  My daughters both live reasonably close and pop round occasionally to make sure I’m OK and to chat for a while through the window (I’ve seen more of them in fact as they are currently either on Furlough or working from home)

I have stopped watching the news as I find it far to depressing and I hate the media’s need to ‘blame’ everything and everyone.

Ceramic, each piece approx. 35cx 30cm. All three head pieces are made from clay, fired to 1000 degrees C and painted with acrylic paint. Elizabeth’s ruff is silk tops stiffened with wallpaper paste.

Penelope Hayes

I am a British ceramicist.I dropped out of a career in the Media in 1993 to take a Fine Art Degree at The University of Hertfordshire. Following my graduation I went to Los Angeles to begin a Masters degree but returned early due to my husband’s ill health.

I was a recipient of a British Council award in 2000 for Helter Skelter, an exhibition at AS220 Gallery in Rhode Island USA and have exhibited extensively in the UK. I taught photography, sculpture and ceramics in Cambridge and was a resident artist at Cambridge Art Salon before moving to Leeds where I now have a studio at Sunny Bank Mills – a restored textile mill.

My work is always a response to my own personal feelings, emotions and concerns and I frequently use the human condition as a vehicle for this expression.  I work predominately with clay which gives me a totally flexible material to work with.