Artist Keith Haynes uses vinyl records as material for his works of art. But they’re not just any records. Each of the records used in his Map Series shares its name with a place. In galleries, some of his pieces are displayed with headphones so people can listen to the tracks as a playlist.
We asked Haynes to tell us a bit about his work and share the tracks that make up its playlist.
‘I studied at Harrow School of Art (it’s no longer called that). It was record sleeve artists like Jamie Reid, Malcolm Garrett and Linder Sterling that made me want to go to art school, where I studied graphic design.
‘I love working in mixed media and, for me, the choice of materials is as important as the choice of subject matter. I describe my work as pop art created from pop materials as it’s pop in both its look and in the materials used – vinyl records, album sleeves, button badges etc. I originally started by creating portraits of my music heroes from their own vinyl and from there it seemed a natural progression to create maps in the same way, using the records and songs inspired by that particular place.
‘Searching for the right record is a big part of my work. Many hours are spent browsing record shops and record fairs, not knowing what I might uncover and what might spark another idea. For specific records, I find the internet invaluable.
‘Before cutting up any of the vinyl, I record each track and compile a unique playlist for that Map Series, so that it becomes a musical representation of London as well as a pictorial one.
‘For instance, in “Going Underground VI – South Ken to King’s Cross”, the musical genres are so eclectic that listening to them is like a music trip across London. There’s punk, reggae, country and western, honky tonk piano, psychedelia and more. My particular favourite track from that piece is the ’60s classic gonzo beat by Johnny Hallyday and the Blackburds.
‘I see my Map Series of works as love songs to London and I couldn’t see myself making these pieces if I lived in any other city in the world. It never fails to surprise me how many songs London has influenced.
‘The thing I love most about London has to be its eclecticism. You can’t help but feel you’re at the centre of the world when you live in London. It’s also the opportunity to see the best live theatre and music. I try and get out and see something live at least every couple of weeks – when work allows.
‘At the moment I’m preparing for a run of shows and art fairs, including my first exhibition in Montreal, Canada. A big project this year will be developing ideas for a piece celebrating the launch of the new Elizabeth line in 2018, so I’ll be tracking down song titles about Reading and Shenfield!'
Photography by Keith Haynes
Check out the ‘Going Underground VI’ playlist:
BAKER STREET – Gerry Rafferty (United Artists)
Goin’ to the BANK – The Commodores (Polydor)
BARBICAN Heights – President Shorty (Pressure Sounds)
Funky BAYSWATER – The Squires (MCA)
BOND STREET Corner – Mikey Dread (Dread at the Control)
CHANCERY LANE Rock – Gregory Isaacs (African Museum)
CHARING CROSS Cowboys – Dick Damron (Condor)
Chelsea EMBANKMENT – Nikki Sudden (Abstract Records)
EUSTON – Valve (Pleasure Music)
GREEN PARK Saturday – The Bevis Frond (Damaged Goods)
HAMMERSMITH Odeons – Patrik Fitzgerald (Polydor)
Absolument HYDE PARK – Johnny Hallyday and The Blackburds (Philips)
KENSINGTON HIGH STREET – Dead Sea Fruit (A-Z Records)
KING’S CROSS (pink vinyl) – Cinerama (Elefant Records)
LADBROKE GROOVE – Sugarcane Band (Alpine Records)
LEICESTER SQUARE – Rancid (Pirates Press Records)
MILE END (pink vinyl) – Pulp (Island Records)
MONUMENT – Ultravox (Chrysalis)
NOTTING HILL GATE – Quintessence (Island Records)
OLYMPIA – Sergio Mendes (A&M)
OXFORD STREET – Everything But The Girl (Blanco y Negro)
The PADDINGTON Frisk (green vinyl) – Enter Shikari (Ambush Reality)
PICCADILLY CIRCUS – Pernilla Wahlgren (Glen Disc)
RUSSELL SQUARE Gardens and You – The Kitchen Cynics (Magical Jack Records)
ST JAMES Infirmary – Frankie Laine (Philips)
SHEPHERD’S BUSH – The Soul 69 (Hip Club Records)
Sunny SOUTH KENSINGTON – Donovan (Epic)
TEMPLE Train – Luke Eargoggle (Heckengäu)
TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD – The Cavaliers (One Fifteen Records)
VICTORIA – The Kinks (PYE)
The WESTMINSTER Waltz - Russ Conway (Columbia)
WHITE CITY – The Pogues (Pogue Mahone Records)
You can see more of Keith Haynes’s work at art-partnership.co.uk . He will be exhibiting at the Chelsea Art Fair (with Gallery Different) Apr 27-30 and the Affordable Art Fair Hampstead (with Fflow Gallery) May 11-14.