Artistic Themes

Shane Hyde

Personal Figurative Paintings

Personal Statement

In the past ten years I've become heavily interested in political, social and environmental problems and a feeling of outrage has growth within me at the shameful actions of our government and the electorate who collaborated.

The themes that interest me are

- Environmental destruction.

- Abuses of Power.

- The rigged game.

- Poverty and inequality.

- Social injustice.

- Unhappiness.

- Dreams and frustrated hopes.

- The decline of the intellect.

- The loss of feelings.

- The artist's relationship to our time.

- Disenchantment and despair.

- Loneliness.

- The inability to find recognition.

These themes are probably better suited to literature, or even direct action, but my medium is painting and I am amongst the powerless.

I want to create personal works exploring our contemporary history. To confront and challenge, to go against the consensus, to be antagonistic to mass culture. To feel free to explore unpleasant, unpopular and forbidden material. Angry and provocative. Not caring about success. Pursuing my own artistic interest.

I don't create work for the market, it compromises integrity. I reject prevailing fashion. I make them purely for myself. Not caring about the establishment or the public. Fuck the art market!

I make warnings. It's an act of rebellion.


My paintings are equivalents for feelings. I want images that convey the things that trouble me. A visual metaphor. Not out of a need to shock, but rather to be genuine and authentic, and to describe what others would rather not know – the darker view of mankind. I'm interested in the forgotten places, neglected people and unreported worlds. Truth isn’t always what everyone wants to hear. The realities of life are uncomfortable and can harm the culture esteemed at the time, but art is for those who would rather live without pipe dreams. I wish to expose a lie and use a canvas as a camera turned on the human race.

Method, Materials, Processes

Writing and Photography play an important part in the formation of my ideas.

Since my teens, I have kept notebooks of my ideas and thoughts.

I started taking photographs with 35mm and medium format mechanical film cameras and still use those formats.

I work in oil on canvas. Usually preparing all the materials myself. Very influenced by Titian, Rembrandt, Goya.

He has continued to experiment, rejecting what he does, scraping back old paintings to start again, continuing for months or years until the single painting is realised.

Fundamental Themes

Power - The  force that corrupts all who obtain it. An elite who act in their own interest. The multinational corporation as a terror on the planet. The monolithic, leviathan machine behaving like a psychopath. Threat to the planet. Enemy of democracy. The mindless markets. The world caught in a battle between economic mindsets - neo-liberalism versus socialism. Our power over nature is negligent. My contempt for authority.


Rigged Game - Social inequality and injustice. The exclusion of the majority from a humane standard of living. Oppression of the poor maintained by the rich. Slavery. Division. The walls that divide us. Poverty, welfare, the refugee. Yet often collaborate with their enemy.


Body Snatchers - The social pressure to conform to the dominant system. The expectation by peers to behave 'normal' even though it is highly abnormal, irrational, prejudiced, bigoted, built on lies. Feeling trapped by a culture and a society that voted brexit, is consumerist, philistine, anti-intellectual, unfeeling, provincial, lawless, football, escapism. The silly rate race. The absurdity of man. Dysfunctional society. It means nothing to me.


Survival - The frustration of knowing what I want in life yet it's always out of reach. Forced into situations where I feel underused, dissatisfied and unappreciated. Forced down a narrow path into the mundane and the mediocre. Trapped. Restricted by others. Compromise. Dreams eroding. The desperate hopes. Feeling of failure and powerlessness. Prostituting for money. Holding on to integrity in the face of the world. How much am I prepared to betray myself? My intellectual autonomy pitted against small mindedness. I think for myself, refuse to follow the crowd, and I'm prepared to be unpopular and isolated rather than conform to something I don’t believe in.


Alienation - The cruelty of others simply because we aren't like them. Haunting memories of relationships, reaching out and being burnt. Wounds that create a demon of hatred and vengeance. Outrages. I am a reaction to the world.


Endangered Life - Many of the things that are vital to life are threatened. Watching them die is a source of pain. Environmental destruction, capitalist civilisation recklessly destroying its own lifeline. Man as destructive species. The cultural decline in the face of commercial pressures. The decline of cinema, fine art and seriousness. The rise of shallow disposable escapism. Forgotten films and filmmakers. The intellect, libraries, knowledge, the printed book. Suppression. Human feelings have become outcast. Suppressed by social etiquette and convention. Social reality in conflict with creative liberty. The endangered artist.


Disenchantment - Wanting to make a difference, to have influence, to reach people, to find affinity with others. I am witness to history and compelled to express the disquiets of this society. Those few tools that are within my control, painting and writing, yet no one cares or notices. My despair. I am powerless. We are at journeys end. The dystopia is today. I want out. But where do I go?

My primary preoccupation is human self-destructiveness. The way that technological and social progress has left a trail of wreckage in it’s wake – the rape of the natural world; the inevitability of climate change; our enslavement to consumerism; the social problems that fail to be resolved. I’m also interested in the way that our culture and its institutions make each of us conform to a set of values that benefit those who run society more than those at the bottom. We think we are free but act like obedient servants who willingly accept and defend our imposed roles without ever questioning them.

Shane Hyde is a British Figurative and Landscape Artist. Born in Dudley. His work is a personal and authentic expression of environmental and social concerns. They are dark, intense and vivid pieces of contemporary resonance.

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