Boston, MA – Tracy Hayes’ first Boston solo show takes place this November at the Bromfield Gallery in the SoWa District. In her artist statement, she notes that her current work explores connections and the emergence of patterns in the intersections of lines, textures and values in her attempt to comprehend the contradictions and stressors of daily life. “In an increasingly complicated, varied and noisy environment, I am concerned with role of individual voice,” she notes. On the eve of her opening reception, Artscope managing editor Brian Goslow “Cornered” her to discuss her successful 2017 (which included exhibitions at the Milton Art Center, Three Stones Gallery, Amherst (NH) Town Library, Cambridge Art Association, Fort Point Arts Community Gallery, Derryfield School and the Nashua Art Walk) and how those experiences helped her prepare for her first major show.
YOUR WORK HAS APPEARED IN A NUMBER OF SHOWS IN MASSACHUSETTS AND NEW HAMPSHIRE IN 2017; HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN AND HOW DID THOSE EXPERIENCES HELP YOU PREPARE AND DECIDE WHICH WORK TO SHOW AT THE BROMFIELD GALLERY?
Each experience is like a different piece of a puzzle falling into place for me, how the work looks, how it relates to those around it and to its environment … The three-person show at Fort Point Art Gallery which came about as a last-minute opportunity helped me realize how much more I wanted to push for this Bromfield Gallery show. It’s a luxury to show many pieces, and I’m just beginning to learn how different spaces complement different works. I was happy with that show, but had it not come about I might have become complacent about what I might have shown now. While a bit nerve-wracking, some discoveries were made within recent weeks which helped distill and coalesce the work to a point that I’m really happy about.
MOST ARTISTS FOCUS ON A SINGLE SERIES FOR AN EXHIBITION, YET YOU’RE OPENING UP YOUR FIRST BOSTON SOLO SHOW WITH TWO — “DISORDER/REORDER.” HOW DID YOU MAKE THIS DECISION?
I’m interested in the dichotomies that exist, but it’s the thin line that divides the two that I’m interested in, not their separateness. Where or when the line gets crossed, or blurred, and/or how often we vacillate between the two, this is what led me to think of reorder and dis-order. It’s not one or the other necessarily, it’s just that to have “reorder” there is an implied “dis-order” to move away from — the nuance of this dance is what appeals.
TELL ME A BIT ABOUT EACH SERIES — WHAT WAS THE TIME PERIOD FOR THEIR MAKING AND THE CREATION PROCESS FOR EACH?
The early versions for ‘Reorder’ emerged in 2015/2016. A recurring mark and certain shapes had been emerging for years in my drawings, but it was when I had the good fortune of working weekly with my mentor group under the tutelage of Peter Dixon that I began to more seriously and confidently explore in color. These were a bit optimistic in tone and tenor for my taste, but fun to make, and I let them emerge as quickly as they’d come. This year I reigned in the high chroma instincts a bit and went back to my more limited palette comfort zone, then let other elements creep in naturally. I really enjoy having the security of a mark to which I can turn to as a reliable start, and then growing from there.
YOU WORK INTEGRATES NUMBER OF DIFFERENT MEDIUMS, INCLUDING ACRYLIC, INK, WATERCOLOR, COLORED PENCIL, CHARCOAL AND GRAPHITE POWDER; HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK IN THIS FORMAT?
I found myself unable to commit to one, and when I tried to limit myself to traditional approaches I found myself yearning for what I wasn’t using. The solution I saw was to use them at once and see what happens. Even though I’m closer than even to identifying myself as a painter, it’s an uneasy admission — I can’t go long without picking up a drawing implement. I need the scratch and drag of pencil on paper if I stray to brush and canvas for too long. I also have challenged myself for years to take out as much I put in from session to session, and that has expanded recently to the use of multiple media which has greatly exploded the possibilities. I like the varied effect, and the problems it sets up for me to solve.
YOUR ARTIST STATEMENT FOR THIS SHOW NOTES, “CONNECTIONS AND PATTERNS ARE ACKNOWLEDGED AS THEY EMERGE IN INTERSECTIONS AND CREVICES, IN AN ATTEMPT TO COMPREHEND THE CONTRADICTIONS AND STRESSORS OF DAILY LIFE.” TO MY EYES, I FEEL I’M SEEING WELL DEFINED VIEWS OF THE NATURAL WORLD — PARTIALLY BLURRY AT TIMES — BUT WHICH REVEAL THOSE MAGIC VISUAL SENSATIONS THAT SEND US OUT SEARCHING FOR MOTHER NATURE’S NEXT SPECTACULAR SURPRISE. WHAT ARE YOU SEEING WHEN YOU CREATE EACH INDIVIDUAL WORK?
I like that the works look “of nature” and/or organic in effect, though all that I really ever set out to do when I create something is to make something that authentically looks like it’s “of me.” I do spend a lot of quality thinking time outside and the majesty of nature is my balm, so I can’t say I’m not influenced but I don’t know where that begins and ends. I see lines, patterns, spaces and more lines and I just want to push and pull, blur and sharpen those until I appreciate effect.
HOW MANY PIECES WILL BE IN THE SHOW?
(“Tracy Hayes: Disorder/Reorder” runs from November 1-26 at Bromfield Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave., Boston, Mass.; the opening reception takes place on Friday, November 3 from 6-8:30 p.m. For more information, call (617) 451-3605.)