Hazelton’s first real encounter with geometry was in 1980, whilst observing the setting sun over the sea. Immediately he set to work on a drawing based on his observations and by dawn had finished it. This curious little drawing, which has since been lost, would continue to haunt Hazelton throughout his life.
For what he had thought was the geometry of a sunset had overnight turned into a depiction of human proportions. This singular event and drawing would spawn a life-long obsession - His current drawings for example, minutely crosshatched with the same geometry, crisscross time and space in search of interconnectivity, not just between a sunset and a human being but between all things; things that have included cloud formations, ocean currents, waves, foam, froth, bubbles, mythic beasts, rhino, moths, rocks, crystals, diatoms, plankton, scientific instruments, tools, star systems, fish, plastic items, birds, bats, dogs, flies and so on…
The philosopher Timothy Morton has explored similar ideas. In his book The Ecological Thought he talks about his theory of the mesh. “All life forms are the mesh, and so are all the dead ones, as are their habitats, which are also made up of living and nonliving beings.”
Like Morton’s ‘mesh’ Hazelton’s drawings seek to show how all things are interrelated. Geometrically they weave together living and non-living forms and connect the natural systems and structures that exist on our planet with our own designs and imitations of nature. Often set in several locations and time periods at once they seek a singularity between our present time and distant past and between where we live and originate from.
Paul Hazelton, contributes a pair of beautiful drawings so small, you need to press
your nose against them to decipher them. One shows Dürer’s famous rhinoceros in a ghostly distance. The other remembers Sudan in his final moments.
Waldemar Januszczak, Art Review: The Sunday Times, Animals & Us at Turner
Contemporary, Margate, 2018
Paul Hazelton’s drawings proffer a quiet sadness at the final gasp of an endangered
species. The Fading Northern White is a tiny, complex sketch of the last surviving male white rhino, which died in March this year. This intricate drawing is crisscrossed with fine geometric patterns so that you have to lean in and squint to pick out the ailing animal and his attentive keeper. It is a study in fragility, an introspective response to the finality of extinction.
Emily Spicer, It’s Complicate: Tales from the Animal Kingdom. Review of Animals &
Us for Elephant Magazine, 2018