The Art+Everywhere project is a direct funnel to exhibition spaces for alumni of the Lesley MFA in Visual Arts program. Initially created by Deborah Read and Tracy Hayes, this project has expanded to include wider program alumni across the United States. This initiative links up available exhibition spaces, artists, and curators to create high-level exhibitions, performances, installations and symposiums throughout the United States and abroad. Connecting various members of the community, Art+Everywhere aims to provide unique programming and events highlighting the outstanding contributions by graduates and professors of the MFA in Visual Arts program. 

“Troubling the Space'' is a collaborative exhibit by Tracy Hayes and Deborah Read and is intended to act as a ‘soft opening’ of the Art + Everywhere project.  Multi-species feminist, Donna Haraway, talks about ‘troubling’ as a type of darkening and entanglement: a messing up of purity and sense of alienation of self and other.  I think we all need this type of entanglement in our world – let’s find lines of kinship with which to weave ourselves and the world together.

Hayes and Read use visual and written lines to pull the viewer into their space of making in order to interrupt, pierce and enfold the mental and physical space of the viewer in order to invite lines of connection and dialogue.  They both use their work to confront the issues of being born with a woman's body in this particular time period and the conflicts, pushes, pulls and overwhelm that confronts their everyday struggles.  The use of line in Haye’s work with its obsessive, thickly layered and large scale ruminating lines obscure and disrupt earlier forms creating divergent, pulsing masses. Hayes writes;  “Their increasing mass is not sustainable and carries over to other forms, bursting as if contagious and infecting the surrounding area. This contamination can be verdant, wet, mixing in and taking over. These shapes resist containment and spill over, always presenting as a motion in motion. The only hope to reduce their speed, their rapid pro generation, is in entanglement and engaging them with each other in the hopes of a distracted pause, a playdate of sorts.”  . 

Read, in contrast, uses large steel boxes to enclose and suspend dangerous objects (giant felling saw, impaled boot, a thorny industrial belt).  These ‘empty’ steel boxes, both contain and illuminate what the artist calls “totems of power”. Read writes; “Object making is my way of taking an adventure into the self in order to become more intimate with myself and others.  The voyage is deliberately crafted to take me into unknown and even frightening territories.  Often my work wants to talk about recovering something discarded  or lost and transform it into a powerful, protective, symbol.  It is a language of aggressive beauty, warriorship, vulnerability and love all entangled and woven together.”   The suspension in space of the dangerous item and its subsequent labor of paint, piercing, and sewing are gestures of care and mending, or taking what is dangerous and transforming it into a form of power.  The totems offer a life-line of protection and a nod in empathy and understanding for our collective need for refuge. 

The joint large scale mixed media work by both Hayes and Read offer a space of expansion, a generative field of play with lines and forms.  The two artists intermingle, diverge, interpenetrate in ways that suggest love, joy and a type of world building with squiggling, lively forms that crawl, dance and burst across the canvas and pulse back and forth into space and the massing of marks.  

You may also like

Back to Top