Well-known contemporary artist Hayden Fowler completed a Master of Fine Arts.
His interest in the separation of humanity from nature has been with him since childhood and his desire to explore the fallout of our shift away from nature has fuelled his studies and art-making practice. Hayden started university in the field of biology, completing a degree in his homeland of New Zealand before heading across the Tasman, bound for Sydney and UNSW Art & Design. Over the next six years he undertook undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in fine art and began to make headway in the Sydney art scene.
In 2007, Hayden produced a work that brought him national and international attention – Call of the Wild. It fused his concern with growing rates of extinction among plant and wildlife with his awareness of the power of performance art. For the Auckland Festival, he staged a weeklong test of bodily endurance during which he sat in a window front on a busy street and had a pair of extinct Huia birds tattooed across the entire expanse of his back. His warts-and-all embracing of human imperfection, pain, and the irreversible fate of both the Huia bird and the artwork drilled into his skin attracted crowds. Call of the Wild was photographed and filmed and then made the rounds of international galleries.
In 2016, Hayden created an installation to be placed on the harbourside patch of grass outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. A futuristic white dome encasing a diseased landscape, Dark Ecology presented a confronting, unwelcoming, yet meaningfully thought-provoking installation for visitors. Hayden says the work is “exploring post-apocalyptic scenarios and humanity’s troubled relationship with the environment.” Dark Ecology was featured as part of New Romance: Art and the Posthuman.