Norman Hyams graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art in 2006. He subsequently decided to shun the art world for over ten years. In consciously doing so, he gave himself the creative freedom and liberty to conceive a powerful body of work unaffected by any external or commercial influences.
Norman’s body of work (which spans diverse media) is both enigmatic and highly personal. Bringing together the universe around him with his childhood memories, Norman’s paintings seem to feel effortless but hide deep and complex underlayers. The artist’s oeuvre can be seen as a voyage into a version of his own life story. Through a series of cinematic and painterly works, the viewer (who becomes a voyeur) is confronted with often mundane scenarios and settings. However, upon closer look, one finds that there is always an element of unease, a lack of belonging and a discomfort in the interaction between the characters.
Norman Hyams also completed the Turps Painting program in 2016. This artist residency program, which takes place in the iconic Aylesbury Estate in South East London (an impoverished council estate), allowed Norman’s work to evolve meaningfully and become even more compelling. During his first year in the program he found it very difficult to paint in the estate’s studio. His own studio was a safe haven, a place of security and privilege to him, and now he was being faced with such poverty on a daily basis. Through his perseverance he realised that it put him in touch with a certain kind of reality he was running away from. Norman began to discover the humanity in his surroundings and used it as inspiration for his most recent body of work.