Monday, July 21, 2014

Jodi Hays-Painter

What is the main theme of your work?

Painting can be a model for so many things, and right now I feel like it’s a way to process the world, a trekking through the archive of one’s subconscious, an exploration.  My next solo show in November is called “Painting as an Archive of Spelunking.”  

My process mirrors the content, with the use of masking tape and layers and building something, the process of creating structure.  I make references to “The Grid” as a formal consideration; geography/landscape, longitudinal lines, GPS, architecture, fences--systems that organize and orient.  Through my work, I draw attention to spaces that upset this organization--like when a GPS system fails on you when you need it; the chaos that happens in daily living, the further truth around and beyond “the grid”, Painting as “truth”.

What inspires your work?

Interiors, textiles, conversation, reading, janky concrete slabs--things that I see on my daily walks, the psychological spaces that we inhabit--everything around me. I paint to process.  I choose to paint a “collection of knowns”, unifying what might be a disjointed mess, within the bounds of a painterly history and rarely drawing exact lines between abstraction and representation.

The history of painting also “inspires” me. I love being part of the lineage of the history of painting, and just this fact inspires me to keep on working. I study other artists and do a lot of reading and research that influences my work.

What are your goals for your work?

Making is what it means for me to live an examined life. My goal is to always make work. I want to be able to look back and see where the work has led me, to see my progression as an artist and to refine a vision. I want to create a legacy for my children, to have the work still be here even when I’m gone.

What are your thoughts on the visual arts scene in Nashville?

There are more and more visual artists and thinkers moving here whose work transcends Nashville as a locale.  I have found the community here to be one full of very smart and thoughtful makers, and one that is increasingly critical and outward facing making work relevant on an international scale. I am inspired by several visual artists working here, and that’s what makes living in Nashville interesting for me. That, and I get out of town to see work as often as possible.

You can learn more about Jodi's work at: