Paula Hayes: Gazing Globes
Paula Hayes’s first outdoor sculpture exhibition in New York City, Gazing Globes, 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. Formed into beauteous objects, Hayes’s crystal balls positioned on elegant fiberglass pedestals summon the present and predict the future.
Each see-through globe — 16, 18, and 24 inches in diameter on 24 to 27 inches high pedestals — are lit from within and include 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 adds crystals and minerals. Hayes, who typically works with varieties of plant materials, determines that everyday castoffs are indicative of a society’s behavior and value system and symptomatic of the current landscape. The works become a forest of objects for viewers to walk around and through. Gazing globes are a decorative form first used in outdoor gardens in the Middle Ages and were thought to hold magical power and to foster good luck or ward off evil.