Having started to paint at the age of 39, within a year the People's Palace Museum, Glasgow had purchased ten paintings and have given Hay his first solo exhibition. Since then his works have been included in numerous public and private collections.

His work deals with both narrative and nature, sometimes subverting one or the other in order to advance his artistic practise. His insistence on invention, freedom and risk affirms continuity in his aesthetic spirit.

He uses a network of codes, symbols and expressive techniques which play off his collective memory and familiarity of everyday objects and culture from his childhood and juxtaposes them with present day reality. In so doing he embodies them with a new philosophical discourse.

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