Paula Hayes- Artist and Gardener
I’m not lucky enough to have visited a gallery viewing of Paula Hayes’ work, but luckily technology has allowed me to appreciate her work for months and months on her website http://paulahayes.com.
Paula Hayes is not just a sculptor, she is a gardner, a glass blower, landscaper, jewellery maker, and designer. Paula deals with nature and plants in her work making beautiful creations, from beautiful gardens and birdhouses, terrariums and aquariums, to quirky and thought provoking pieces of “living” jewellery.
The work I appreciate the most from Paula is her terrariums. Her work explores the intersection of art and nature, bringing beauty from the outside and placing it inside. Her terrariums look both purposeful, with an obvious hint of human intervention, but at the same time the terrariums can look natural and untouched. There is both a sense of control and a sense of uncertainty in the works. The thing about her art that is simply so beautiful is that it has a life of its own. It grows, and changes with time and in a way develops its own ‘personality.’ By juxtaposing stationary and structured objects, with living and moving organisms she is exploring and creating questions.
Putting things behind glass has always granted objects with some kind of importance, giving viewers the warning that ‘you can view but you can’t touch’. Paula has done this with great purpose, indicating the beauty and the significance of nature to our lives, and bringing up questions surrounding nature vs. human intervention.
Terrariums have been around since as early as the eighteen hundreds, and today the word terrarium isn’t one that people are really familiar with, or the word is thought on with the association of being more practical opposed to aesthetically pleasing. Paula Hayes took an ‘old fashion’ idea and she turned it into something new, something modern, and something practical, she is really the only artist that I know of that has really embraced the terrarium.
If only i had the money to buy one!