Graham Hay

Artist Statement

My work investigates and engages with the social foundations of Art. Rather than grand speculate on "what Art is", I initially research thousands of artists from within a critical ethnographic framework. This grew out of training in arts education, political economics, fine arts, and 25 years of independent, full time artistic practice. This is an ongoing examination of institutional dynamics, education systems, administrative burdens, social foundations of arts funding, international social rituals, and impact of new communication technology on the art studio.

My work is frequently created from multiple parts, predominately in ceramic porcelain and terracotta paper clay, or paper, and can be up to 3 m high and weigh several tonnes. Construction may be through soft, wet or dry paper clay joins, or post firing assembling prior or after shipping. Due to Perth’s (W. Australia) small population and geographic isolation, these are frequently shipped to exhibit in a dozen countries. 


Born in New Zealand, ceramic artist Graham Hay is based in Western Australia. He has participated in over 160 exhibitions in a dozen countries,  including biennales in Australia, Holland, Argentina, Romania, and Italy, This included  a 500 kg vessel-based ceramic sculpture and performance in Personal Structures – no borders, a 2017 Venice Biennale event.  Graham graduated from the Universities of Western Australia, Edith Cowan, and Curtin.  While he works across different mediums, he is an internationally recognised as a pioneer in the paper clay sculpture movement.  Having given over 300 artist talks, workshops, and demonstrations in a dozen countries, he was invited to co-lead the first international paper clay symposia in Hungary, the US and Norway, and to  join the Académie Internationale de la Céramique in 2019​.  He is grounded in providing studio based community classes within the Robertson Park Artists’ Studio, Perth, Western Australia.