24 June 2023
Rachel B. Hayes provokes dialogue
between textiles and space
by Kate Mothes
In panels of luminous organza and other lightweight fabrics, Tulsa-based artist Rachel B. Hayes composes large-scale patchwork installations that embrace rolling terrain and flutter in the breeze. Spread over meadows and dunes or suspended inside doorways and above courtyards, her pieces draw inspiration from the multicolored panes of stained glass and traditional quilting, like the log cabin style that develops around a central square or diamond representative of a hearth. They interact with the light and the wind, juxtaposing saturated hues with a variety of landscapes and interiors. Installations in spaces such as botanical gardens—she has an exhibition at Powell Gardens in Kansas City through July 4—have inspired seasonal planting, and in fields or barns, the sewn panels parallel the agricultural patchwork of rural America.
Hayes’ work is on view in numerous places throughout the next few months, including in The Momentary’s Quonset Hut in Bentonville, Arkansas, through the end of June; a glass bridge installation at FORELAND in Catskill, New York, through January 2024; an outdoor commission titled The Edge of Becoming at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts, on view through April 1 of next year; and a long-term installation the Nevada Museum of Art through 2025.