Artist in Focus: James L. Hayes


The NSF is delighted to announce that James L. Hayes has been awarded IMMA’s National Production Residency; a three-month studio research and production residency on the museum’s grounds which will lead to an intensive period of fabrication on the NSF Factory floor.

NSF nominated James L. Hayes, an artist and educator of the highest calibre, after working closely with him over the last number of years, both in the studio facility and through our collaboration on two international iron casting events ; Iron R in 2012 and IronR2 in 2014.

This residency has been devised, by Hayes, as part of a longer research project exploring certain legacies of Barry Flanagan’s sculptural practice. The residency will be used to engage with and reflect on Flanagan’s work and its influence on his personal artistic development, concentrating on Flanagan’s idiosyncratic and often witty sculptural language as well as his rigorous engagement with the specificity of materials and processes. From 1997-2003 Hayes worked for AB Fine Art Foundry in London, which has produced the majority of Flanagan’s bronze works since the early 1980’s, and in 2001 he worked as an assistant to Flanagan while continuing to work at AB on numerous hare sculptures, including The Drummer now situated at IMMA. The Drummer, will act as the stimulus or linchpin for a series of works reflecting on Hayes’s memory of his personal and professional relationship with Barry Flanagan.

James L Hayes lectures in Fine Art-Sculpture at CIT Crawford College of Art and has previously studied Sculpture/Fine Art at Limerick School of Art & Design, The University of Vigo, North Spain, De Montfort University Leicester and the University of London in the UK.  He has previously lectured at Coventry University and Anglia Polytechnic University Cambridge in the UK.

His previous research interests have ranged from industrial archaeology to environmental concerns and economic conflicts. Working in a variety of media, current projects draw upon the material residues and traces of history as well as responding to sites that possess a specific or significant history. Alongside this concern, Hayes’s practice is also anchored in material processes, investigating the histories, potentialities and specificities of casting technologies in particular. He has exhibited his works widely over the last 15 years, both nationally internationally whilst also developing large-scale /permanent works and interventionist projects on a commissioned and proposal basis.