Beyond the Bio: Carol Hayman

Beyond the Bio is a series that takes you past the canvas, and into the minds of the artists and curators who build the contemporary arts community.

Name:  Carol Hayman

Primary Medium:  photo intaglio

Website:    https://carolhayman.weebly.com/  and   https://carolhaymanphotos.weebly.com/ 

Social Media Links:   https://www.facebook.com/carol.hayman.501

First off, tell us about your upcoming exhibition:

WEST in my studio

Antigua, Guatemala 

Last year I went to Antigua for an artist’s residency at the Casa Herrera, part of the Mesoamerican Center of the University of Texas in Guatemala.

I am returning for an exhibition of some of the photos taken during the residency.

My original project of documenting artisan families and their workshops was expanded to include many of the colorful sights around Antigua.  Identifying crafts people involved constant travel around the city exploring many different areas and I could hardly resist taking pictures of everything.  I visited about 15 workshops making ceramics, wood carvings, wrought iron, and weaving.  The artisans were friendly and inviting and most were happy to allow me to wander around their workshops, often in their homes, taking photographs. Some were tiny and cluttered, others more organized.  Some had a few items for sale and mostly sold their work elsewhere.  Others had a store display in the front or back of the building with the workshop, which was sometimes also their home. Casa Herrera has been a tranquil, inspiring haven where I could concentrate on my artistic efforts without the usual distractions of daily life.  By the end of my visit, I had taken more than 2,000 photographs of the people and places in Antigua and posted about 800 to my website, which are a contribution to the archives of the Casa.  Some of these photographs will be printed and presented in an exhibition at Casa Herrera.

austin artist carol hayman

Additional questions:

What inspires/motivates your work? The natural world, people, landscapes, travel

Why [primary medium]? Photo intaglio

My style is documentary/anthropological.  I take lots of photographs, especially when I travel. I like human artifacts, monuments, cultural objects, food, and religious items. For colorful things, I make photographic prints of objects like flowers, with deeply saturated colors.  For some of the more monochromatic photos, I make them into intaglio prints. 

How long have you been an artist, and how has your practice changed over time?

I come from a long line of women artists, on my both sides of my family.  My mother’s mother, Sophia Dart did beautiful embroidery.  My father’s mother, Margaret Hayman, painted watercolors and made quilts.  Her Grandmother, Angelina Beckwith, painted in oils and watercolor and gave art classes. I have some examples of work from each of them.  I wanted to be an artist from my early teens and took art classes all through high school and college, classes in painting, printmaking, photography, jewelry, weaving. I have a Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art, a Bachelors of Fine Art in Art History, and a Masters of Art in Anthropology.  Now I am a Professor of Anthropology at Austin Community College.

I love taking photographs and before everyone went digital I used to have a darkroom.

With prints, like photos, it is possible to make multiple versions of the same image. I experiment with different colors, mixing browns, green, or blue with black, and use different wiping techniques to vary the intensity of color.  I usually use BFK Rives paper and Charbonnel inks.  Sometimes I use the chine colle method with different kinds of paper like bark paper from Mexico.  I printed for several years at Flatbed Press, now I print at Slugfest. 

austin artist carol hayman

What are you making now and why?

I am currently working on a series of prints alluding to native American mythology.  The area in Texas where the images are taken was inhabited a thousand years before the tribes who were living there at the time of the conquest. No one knows what those indigenous people called themselves, but their mythology haunts the landscape and echoes into the myths of present-day native Americans.  They left behind an archeological record sadly endangered by modern development of the area. Some of their artifacts include paintings on the walls of rock shelters which depict aspects of their spiritual life.  This story deserves to be more widely known.  This project is timely because Native American myths are not widely known and deserve more exposure.  This project addresses lack of respect for the environment and lack of curiosity about our origins in a gentle, non-judgmental way by considering the past as well as the future. It offers a sense of history, as well as a message of hope.

Technique/Process:  Polymer Plate Photo Intaglio

The technique mixes the traditional with contemporary art trends. The intaglio begins as a print from a digital camera, copied onto a transparency which is laid over an ultraviolet light-sensitive polymer-coated steel plate and exposed to light.  The plate is washed, fixed, then it is inked, damp paper laid on it, then run through an intaglio press, in the same way as a traditional etching.  The paper is Arches BFK Rives French cotton or hand-made bark paper, with Faust and Charbonnel ink, printed on a French Tool Press, at Slugfest Print Studio in Austin, Texas.

What does the Austin arts community need most as the city continues to grow?

More exhibition spaces, more galleries, lower rent – it is too hard to support the sale of art when the cost of retail space is so high

austin artist carol hayman

Please provide us with a brief bio and at least 3 photos that you’d like included in your feature.

Artist Statement

Photo intaglio prints. Work created 2015 – 2018.

The printing technique uses a mixture of traditional and modern methods and the images present a mythical-historical context.  Printmaking is currently experiencing a flourishing revival in Texas, especially in Houston and Austin.  Cultural diversity is represented by honoring the memory of the first inhabitants of what we now call Texas.

The images of these photo intaglio prints are made in the desert country around the Devil’s River, Val Verde county in west Texas. Nowadays not many people live there, but in the past Paleoindians made it their home, living in rock shelters or on the flat tops of bluffs.  Their shadows still haunt the landscape of rock shelters and the flat tops of bluffs, making their mythical stories vivid. Water is scarce, sacred, beautiful and awe-inspiring.  Bird Woman descended to earth by falling through a hole in the sky. Waterbirds carried her down to the sea and set her on the back of a turtle, which became her home, with Turtle Woman, on Turtle Island.  Earth Mother filled the earth with egg stones, watered by springs, that became humans, animals, and plants, which humans have the duty to nurture and maintain.  The landscape ignites the imaginations of modern campers as they contemplate the stars, rock formations shaped by forces of water and spring floods, and thorny desert plants. The mythological world is part of being human.  The prints bridge the mystical and the concrete, the past and the present. The desert landscape evokes the shadows and stories of the earliest people to live there.