Dan Hays

'Harmony in Green'

John Moores Winner 1997

Oil on canvas

171 x 246cm

"Monet chose 'Harmony in Green' as a sub-title for a water-lily painting. I was reminded of impressionism as I was filling in the spaces between the bars of the cage. Green is the colour of nature.
I wanted to show the cage as a desirable place to occupy. The painted cage is confined within the rectangle of the canvas.
I find the notion of harmony interesting. In a classical sense there is discord in the painting. Harmony is to be found in the play between surface and the illusion of depth. There is a feeling of hope that these opposing domains may be united. I am also reminded of harmony in a zen sense (John Cage).
I wanted the cage to be human sized. The painting is exactly my height.
The pictorial illusion collapses very quickly as the viewer moves from a central position. This is owing to my use of a very slight perspective. My early obsessions with Escher and Op Art re-surface.
Painting is a refuge."

Dan Hays was born in London in 1966. He studied at Goldsmiths college.