ARTIST OF THE WEEK: SPRING IN MIAMI WITH HAYLEY CLAYTONMarch 2, 2016
We’re so excited to finally to see the onset of Spring. Glimmers of sunshine and longer evenings has us inspired by colorful, sunny Florida; photographer Hayley Clayton takes us on a visual tour through the city’s shapes, architecture, and hidden details.
UO: Can you share a little more about your life lately? You recently made the move from New Mexico to Florida…tell us more!
I’m from Lovington, New Mexico originally but I’ve lived in Santa Fe the last few years while attending art school. I’ve lived in New Mexico my entire life and recently found myself needing a change of scenery and seriously craving being near water! An opportunity to live and work in Florida for a few months came up and I couldn’t turn it down. I’ve been dreaming about photographing this state for quite some time. I plan to travel around as much of Florida as I can, but I’m currently in Saint Petersburg and its quickly turning into one of my favorite cities.
UO: Can you share more specifically what you were drawn to shooting for this series: any specific stories or examples you can reference about what struck you as you were shooting?
Continuous change of scenery and exploring new places are huge components in my work. It doesn’t take much to excite me and get me outside shooting around a city I know nothing about, which I’ve been doing a lot of since I’ve been here.
I totally live for those moments when the combination of light, color, and form perfectly harmonize for one brief moment…and being there to catch that. A constantly shifting shadow can add dimensionality or create an interesting shape on the side of a building, and being in the right place at the right time to witness that is such a great feeling. Thankfully it’s sunny most of the year here and I really wanted that to come across as a focus in this work.
UO: You have such a specific style and photographic eye: how do you describe your aesthetic?
I can see a lot of my own personal influences in my work. Constructivism, 80s new wave, science fiction, art deco, and pop art all play into what I do. I’m constructing spaces and geometric relationships, manipulating the interplay of form, using color to create a certain mood or tone and applying my own personal vision to the whole thing. 1924 meets 1984 meets 2044.
UO: How is Florida influencing and inspiring your creative process?
Being in a new place always influences my creative process. Since coming out here I’ve realized just how much traveling and physically moving around are both pretty important to my overall functioning as an artist.
The way the sunlight looks in Florida is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. There’s nonstop sunshine and blue skies here, palm trees, a definite beach town. I find myself really trying to capture a feeling or a vibe now, which is hard for me to put in to words. I want the viewer to feel a sense of place, but not actually let that be what the photos are about. They’re more about my personal response to a place and I’m learning to let that be enough.
UO: Who are some of your favorite photographers and artists?
Erin O’Keefe, David Hockey, James Turrell, Landon Metz, Agnes Martin, Richard Diebenkorn, Kristin Texeira, Chaz Bundick, Ruban Nielson, David Byrne. I could go on and on…
UO: What else is inspiring you right now?
I’ve been binge watching Miami Vice. The color palettes, the music, the fashion, the whole thing is total perfection to me.
See more from Hayley on Instagram.