My name is Haydn Gardner and I make mess. I am an autistic artist who has newly started a new life in Manchester. [UK]
Through my artwork I explore people’s relationships with mental health and work to create a physical manifestation of this relationship. As children we create monsters from our fears and emotions. When we grow older we leave these monsters behind, but for some individuals creatures remain in the mind in new forms. The unpleasant thoughts that plague their confidence and wellbeing are the monsters they brought along with them.
My paintings are a representation of these metaphorical monsters, inspired by the thoughts, words, and feelings of myself and those around me. I primarily work in inks on a range of materials with a current fascination for anything translucent.
My work is inspired visually by all the weird things that demand my attention, from the video games I play to the people I meet. This includes all the wonderfully bright colours you can find in the world and inks provide that defined tone that paints do not.
Over the past year Messy Miscreation has evolved to be something more than just a platform to discuss my art but has become a way to help others out there on the spectrum and those who struggle with mental health. In June I had a talk at the Celebration of Autism event in front of a audience where I openly talked about mental health and the relationship we share with it. The response I got was overwhelmingly positive and it has pushed me to further “MM” as a platform to help even more people.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Gameson-Burrows