View of a Song
Rachel Hayes, "View of a Song," Polyester tulle, light filters, thread, 102" x 126", 2015
My work embraces exquisite beauty, converses boldly with architectural spaces, and responds to radiant light, becoming anything from a minimalist sculpture to an abstract painting to a massive stained glass patchwork quilt. I use processes and materials based in craft and design to create abstract compositions that embrace the language of painting while interacting with space in a sculptural/architectural manner. Seeking to find a balance of fragility and power, I want my work to be for everyone – I am not presenting a narrative, and I try to create a harmony of interpretation between the viewer and the art.
My installations are typically made out of brightly colored fabrics and plastics. I have always thought of sewing as a way of connecting two planes, and it is a very simple way to construct something large out of smaller pieces. When I am working on a large scale installation or public art piece, I always consider the architectural elements surrounding my work, whether its a modern glass building that houses a financial firm in New York City, a crusty old bridge from the late 19th century spanning a river in the South, or a funky little gallery in an old library on a college campus.
My studio is full of musical instruments and littered with scraps of material and kids toys too. I started taking some scraps of light filter gel from an older piece and pinning them to the wall, thinking of Matisse's 'cut outs' series. I sent a picture of this piece as a work in progress to my father who is a musician, because I thought he would appreciate all the instruments strewn about beneath my piece, and he wrote 'that looks like a musical piece that needs to be played'. So, I went forward arranging the scrap pieces intuitively, with these thoughts in my mind.