Sep 30th 2019

“Flower-o’-the-Moon” premieres six new paintings and a video by Illinois State University alumna Erin Hayden. Influenced by fairytales and storytelling, the works address the artist’s Irish ancestry, Celtic goddesses, girlhood, and the symbolism of water. Equally versed in the creation of digital and analog images, the Chicago-based artist exploits the possibilities of online searches and photo editing software for her (often) multi-layered digital collages. She then prints them onto fabric and applies a range of painted surfaces, including shiny globs of acrylic and airy clouds of spray paint. The resulting works include surprising juxtapositions that embrace cuteness and absurdity while also prompting deeper consideration of how we access information and meaning.

Works on paper featuring the artist’s poetic texts and typewriter-based drawings will also be included. Citing the influence of writers Gertrude Stein, e. e. cummings, and Annie Besant, Hayden says that her own writing “takes a more analog approach to constructing mind spaces while also composing on the pages.” The performative aspect of the writing is integral to her practice. She points out that “as words move into poetry, prose, and then drawing with the typewriter,” it “allows for errors to be visible…and poetic riffing on mistakes as part of the fluid writing process.” Hayden will offer a related free public performance on September 30.

University Galleries is collaborating with Milner Library, Children’s Discovery Museum, and the School of Art for programming relating to Hayden’s exhibition. All events are free and open to the public.

Erin Hayden: Flower-o’-the-Moon is organized by University Galleries’ Director and Chief Curator Kendra Paitz. The exhibition and programming are supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Field trip support is provided by a grant from the Town of Normal Harmon Arts Grant Program.

Erin Hayden’s work has been exhibited at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Castello di Rivoli and Galleria Civica di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Torino, Italy; Stony Island Arts Bank, Chicago; Chicago Artists Coalition; Mana Contemporary, Chicago; Visual Arts Gallery, University of Illinois at Springfield; Randy Alexander Gallery, Chicago; Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago; Aspect Ratio, Chicago; Jan Brandt Gallery, Bloomington, Illinois; and Left Field, San Luis Obispo, California. She has been awarded residencies at Chicago Artists Coalition, Ragdale Foundation, and the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity. Her work has been featured in Frieze , Chicago Tribune, NewCity Art , and Lori Waxman’s 60-wrd-min art critic. Hayden received her MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University and both her BFA in Painting and BA in Art Teacher Education from Illinois State University. The artist lives and works in Chicago.

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