An exploration of the painterly as a visual language for creating playfully critical narratives across a variety of historically loaded material surfaces.


Harry Bayston, Slow and steady, smiley face, life’s a gamble, a highway, hoping not for a race, 2022, Acrylic, gouache, fabric dye and oil pastel on bed sheet and calico, suspended off wood, 186 x 116 cm.

My studio based practice intuitively draws from a personalised painterly vocabulary of colourful, gestural marks through a humorous lens to form a cast of figurations across a range of surfaces, from canvas and textiles to clay. This visual lexicon conceals and reveals characters, drawn from art history, mythology, pop culture and film, through layers of abstraction and materiality. The resulting artworks create new ambiguous narratives that serve as critical tools playfully subverting the loaded histories of paint, artistic tropes and its mythologised masculinity.


Harry Bayston, Jazz hands can’t catch a lion, but they might bedazzle [installation view], 2022, Acrylic, gouache, fabric dye and oil pastel on calico and bedsheet, suspended off wood, 115 x 190 cm.
Harry Bayston, Which way’s up butter cup, or just a spoonful to go down [wall view], 2022, Underglaze, soil, slip and stoneware clay, 18 x 37 x 27 cm.
Harry Bayston, Folly, good golly, pick up sticks. Bob, fix this [stack formation], 2022, Underglaze, soil, slip and stoneware clay, 28 x 24 x 27 cm.


The rectangle
the framed edge
Famed,  strictlybound
Confound out
I confine   you         not
stretched                      thin,
spread thick
ever so slowly,
ever              so quick
I bind you           barely
baring my soul
Beware     of     control.
flick,           drip,           drop
let it  go
or   so I try
between the painterly   and I


Harry Bayston holds a Master of Fine Art from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours from University of New South Wales Art & Design. He has exhibited consistently since 2017 in Victoria and New South Wales with multiple solo exhibitions and group shows at both commercial and artist run galleries, such as Compendium Gallery, No Vacancy Gallery, AIRspace Projects and gaffa Gallery. Bayston’s work is held in private and corporate collections across Australia and London. He has created several murals and public artworks, including for Lost Paradis Festival, The Langham Hotel Sydney and UNSW Art & Design. His work is featured online in press such as Time Out and a Monograph published by Blind Angles at Perimeter Books Melbourne.



Harry Bayston, No more and then, unless you’re a caterpillar’s end. Or a sourdough starter, 2022, Acrylic mediums, oil pastel and fabric dye on calico, suspended off wood, 230 x 230 cm.
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Harry Bayston