Terry Hays: Cosmic Garden
“In the history of symbols the cosmic tree is described as the way of life itself, a growing into that which eternally is and does not change; which springs from the union of opposites and, by its eternal presence, also makes that union possible. It seems as if it were only through an experience of symbolic reality that man, vainly seeking his own existence and making a philosophy out of it, can find his way back to a world in which he is no longer a stranger.” ― C.G. Jung, Psychological Types
Explore a mesmerizing Cosmic Garden created by artist Terry Hays. Trees, waterfalls and islands populate an exotic landscape embellished with meticulously hand-painted designs and symbols inspired by many divergent cultures. In the Cosmic Garden’s symbolic reality, Hays presents a harmony of opposites suggestive of Jung’s cosmic tree as a universal archetype.
Born and raised in Texas, I received my BS from West Texas State University and my MFA from Texas Christian University. Following graduate school, I spent eight years teaching painting and drawing at the University of Manitoba School of Art in Canada. At this time, my work was primarily installation work, filling entire spaces with varying materials to create total transformations.
Shortly after my return to Texas, I put my art on hold and began painting large sets for stage productions and television. I returned to teaching for a few years and taught scenic painting in the theater department at Southern Methodist University. In 2002, while studying the art of divergent cultures; Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, China, and Japan, as well as the imagery used in street art and full body tattoos, I was inspired to return to creating my own personal art. I was drawn to the honesty and unassuming nature of outsider art. James Hampton’s The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly, ca. 1950-1964 and all of the work by artists featured in John Beardsley’s Gardens of Revelation by John Beardsley continue to influence my work.
Throughout my career as an artist, scenic artist and educator, I have been fascinated with the union of opposites: past and present, exotic and familiar, near and far, real and unreal, symbolic and concrete. The concept of divergent forms coexisting developed into a type of alchemy, morphing the past into the present and vice versa. My own personal work has evolved as a never ending quest to combine, define and redefine the color, texture and pattern of the contemporary landscape in response to constant and ever changing cycle of decline and rebirth. This elusive, organic and architectural phenomenon continues to be the overriding theme in my elaborately painted sculptures and installations.
– Terry Hays
Terry Hays was born and raised in Texas. He received his B.S. from West Texas State University and his M.F.A. from Texas Christian University. After graduate school, he spent eight years teaching, painting, and drawing at the University of Manitoba School of Art in Canada. Upon his return to Texas, he spent the next 20 years painting sets for stage production and television, but he turned his attention to his personal art in 2002. “I would spend endless hours looking at a broad assortment of images from Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, China and Japan,” Hays said. His work has evolved to a beautiful hybrid of world art forms influenced by his experiences with set design. Terry Hays is represented by Ro2 Art in Dallas.
This project is supported by a grant from the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council and the City of Abilene.