Ethan Hayes-Chute

It's been far too long since I've had time to scour the internet for artists that inspire. It has been months since I've had a chance to sit and write a post about anything, let alone spend time researching artists who tickle my peculiar taste. Yet mere hours into a relaxing internet surf session of art and architecture, I stumbled across this wholly inspiring artist.

Ethan Hayes-Chute is a young artist whose installation work is simply brilliant. He creates spaces that tell stories and imply caution. His architecture is simple, his building materials even more so. Everything has a history and once assembled, the piece feels like a memory.  Not only is his work charming in its nostalgia but it is environmentally responsible as well: everything from the floors to the objects hanging on the walls is either salvaged, reclaimed, recycled or found.

In creating these spaces Hayes-Chute has created a narrative, an implied history of the simultaneously present and absent dweller. The space is caught in medias res,  as if the home owner has just stepped out leaving his hot breakfast on the table. The viewer is left to wonder, what happened?

Beyond the immediate space, a tension sets up between the constructed room and the gallery space in which the installation is exhibited. Just as the future and the past each pull at the present so too does the question of whether this dwelling is an artifact or a premonition. Are we looking at something that was or something that may be our future?

For me, these spaces are very powerful and tie into my image of Canadian pioneers – loggers, trappers, prospectors, who settled the mountains and bush of the great white north. Looking at these spaces I imagine them tucked away in an untamed wilderness at the side of a river or in an open meadow at the base of a mountain. I imagine exiting the installation to find myself in a modern sterile space of a gallery and feeling disappointment. Perhaps the natural environment is as absent as the implied inhabitants of the dwellings.

Visit Ethan Hayes-Chute website to see more of his work.

The Hermitage 2009


Went to get Wood 2008