FEBRUARY 19, 2015 – APRIL 19, 2015
Join artist Paula Hayes, Madison Square Park Conservancy, and art/technology organization Hyphen Hub for a free and public artist talk on Hayes’s Gazing Globes, 7:30pm Thursday, April 16. For more info and to RSVP, click here.
Gazing Globes, Paula Hayes’s first outdoor sculpture exhibition in New York City, is currently on view at the West Gravel area of the park until April 19, 2015. The work features eighteen transparent polycarbonate spheres that hold the remnants of contemporary culture, including up-cycled radio parts, industrial materials, acrylic wands, and other pieces of vintage technology sprinkled with fairy dust made of pulverized CDs.
Brooke Kamin Rapaport, Martin Friedman Senior Curator, Madison Square Park Conservancy, said, “This is a breakthrough project in the trajectory of Paula Hayes’s work. She is using new materials and adding fresh content to her objects while retaining some of the form of her well-known plant terrariums. Mad. Sq. Art is confirming this period of stylistic polyphony in contemporary outdoor sculpture and Hayes uses the residue of technology for the contents of her gazing globes.”
Formed into beauteous objects, Hayes’s crystal balls positioned on elegant fiberglass pedestals summon the present and predict the future. Each see-through globe lit from within features a mixture of analog radio parts, castoff electronic transistor parts, glass vacuum tubes, micro glass beads, shredded rubber tires, and recycled plastic flotsam. To these mixed remnants of technology and culture the artist added crystals and minerals. A shimmering fairy dust was made from pulverized CDs and is layered within each sculpture’s interior. Hayes, who typically works with varieties of plant materials, determined that everyday castoffs are indicative of a society’s behavior and value system and symptomatic of the current landscape.
Artist Paula Hayes said, “I used vintage parts because technology moves at such a fast pace. These play a role in the current landscape and how information is transmitted from one part of the globe to the next. I made an illuminated landscape evocative of the designed landscape of Madison Square Park. Both are born of human imagination and technology.” The globes, says Hayes, give the park “an arctic feeling, a winter wonderland.”
Hayes’s exhibition is installed on the west gravel of Madison Square Park. The works, of varying height, form a forest of objects for viewers to walk around and through. The pedestal heights range from 24 to 47 inches and the globes are 16, 18, and 24 inches diameter.
Gazing globes are a decorative form first used in outdoor gardens in the Middle Ages. These orbs were made of hand-blown glass, and were considered to hold magical power and to foster good luck or ward off evil. Hayes conjures the mystical character of the historic object but makes the form fully contemporary as she creates work with present-day scrutiny and a nod to clairvoyance.
About the Artist:
Paula Hayes (born 1958 in Concord, Massachusetts) is an American visual artist and landscape designer who works with sculpture, drawing, installation art, botany, and landscape design. Hayes has lived and worked in New York City for over two decades and is known for her terrariums and other living artworks, as well as her large-scale public and private landscapes. A major theme in Hayes’s work is the connection of people to the natural environment, and much of her work is concerned with the care that is required to grow and maintain large- and small-scale ecosystems. Hayes’s work has been acquired for gardens, museums and galleries in the United States and internationally. Her work has been on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Lever House, New York; and The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Omi International Arts Center, Ghent, New York; and Wave Hill, New York. Hayes is represented by Salon 94, New York.
Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram with Madison Square Park Conservancy (@MadSqParkNYC), Paula Hayes (Twitter @chlorotron; Instagram @paulahayesstudio), and via the hashtags #MadSqArt, #GazingGlobes, and #PaulaHayes.
Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes, 2015 (installation view in Madison Square Park, New York).
Polycarbonate spheres and mixed media, 3 feet to 6 feet high.
Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York. Photographs by Yasunori Matsui.