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Exploring Hypnos: Lee Hadwin’s Sleepwalk Art
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Exploring Hypnos: Lee Hadwin’s Sleepwalk Art

Picture of Margarita Akritidou
Updated: 12 December 2015
The capricious Greek god of sleep, Hypnos has been more generous in his gifts with Lee Hadwin than with most: the former care-giver and presently full-time artist produces pieces of artwork while asleep, while having no recollection of his nocturnal activities. Over the years, initial puzzlement and curiosity about Hadwin’s unusual ability gave place to global recognition of his talent and ability to create captivating and powerful pictures.
Lee Hadwin, Ocean | www.leehadwin.com
Lee Hadwin, Ocean | © Lee Hadwn

Welsh-born Hadwin started sleep-drawing at the age of 4. By his mid-teens, his childish scribbles had grown into more complex and detailed drawings and sketches that surprised the artist himself. In his waking life, Hadwin admits to have no artistic flair, and has never had any artistic training. Ranging from abstract to wonderfully detailed draws of pencil and brush, his images, although raw, are wistful and fluent, not unlike, a dream.

Lee Hadwin, The Game | www.leehadwin.com
Lee Hadwin, The Game | @ Lee Hadwin

For years, Hadwin faced criticism from art critics as well as constant controversy about his ability to only draw in his sleep. He subjected himself to studies by doctors and scientists at the Edinburg Sleep Clinic to discover the mystery of his ‘condition’, and to prove that it is genuine sleepwalking. Despite being considering an artist of the curious and the weird, his artwork met with increasing attention from galleries, collectors and the public, and his striking portraits of Marilyn Monroe are displayed in the Marilyn Monroe Museum in Hollywood.

Lee Hadwin, Presence | www.leehadwin.com
Lee Hadwin, Presence | @ Lee Hadwin

In current day, Hadwin celebrates his peaceful relationship with his creative alter-ego by keeping materials and sketch books at hand’s span in his apartment, and embraces his identity as an artist of the sub-conscious.

Hadwin, now most often referred to as the ‘sleepwalking artist’, recently launched his first UK solo exhibition in Croydon, Hypnos, displaying a short collection amongst over 600 of his sleep creations spanning over twenty years. The gallery is set up to look like his bedroom, recreating the sleeping environment in which the artwork is produced.

Lee Hadwin, Strength | www.leehadwin.com
Lee Hadwin, Strength | @ Lee Hadwin

The exhibition was hosted at RISEgallery from January 15 to February 5 2015. Find out more about the artist, his work and his charity activities at his website.

RISE Gallery, 7-9 St.George’s Walk, Croydon, UK + 44 (0)208 681 1279