The Salt Lake City Arts Council is pleased to present its newest exhibitions featuring artists Bea Hurd & Lucy Fairchild at the Finch Lane Gallery, April 30 through June 11, 2021. Lucy Fairchild and Bea Hurd share in common the use of food and everyday materials in their artwork. While both artists elevate these materials to a point of reverence, the symbolism these materials hold diverts between the two artists. Fairchild’s work evokes calm through a sense of familiarity, while Hurd’s work is meant to question our relationships with everyday materials and the resulting artwork might elicit a sense of discomfort. The pairing of these two artists provides an experience viewer to consider their varied perceptions and relationships to the provisions which are present in our everyday lives. In the interest of public safety we are offering limited hours with gallery visits are by appointment and comply with the Utah Leads Together and CDC recommendations.
Bea Hurd, Devour Digest Devote
Through prolonged investigations, Bea Hurd experiences “romances” with everyday materials. “I especially gravitate towards materials that go into, used in relation to, or in replacement of the body,” writes Hurd. Her sculptures and photographs utilize mass produced consumer goods such as highly processed foods, Band-Aids, balloons, and pieces of furniture. She abstracts the original use of these materials to become something new and oddly recognizable. For example, hundreds of Band-Aids sewn together form a blanket, balloons sewn together create a coat, cheese crackers are used as tiles on furniture. Hurd purposefully makes the craft involved in creating her sculptures apparent to the viewer—the strings of a glue gun are not removed, she laboriously hand sews her sculptural garments—as a form of devotion and homage to crafts which are often seen as women’s work.
Lucy Fairchild, Enveloping Calm
Lucy Fairchild grew up Catholic and appreciates space set aside for sacred objects and meditation. As a result, she became a shrine maker, both informally and professionally. On New Year’s Day 2019 she built a shrine to the New Year to preserve its beauty in a photograph. So powerful was that experience that she continued to take photographs throughout the year of her shrines. Fairchild constructs these calming vignettes using found items such as animal figurines, dolls, dishes, food, and flowers. “My only rule was that I would have to feel better, happier, more relaxed by looking at the image I had made through the lens. Only then would I permit myself to snap the shutter,” writes Fairchild. Her photographed shrines are meant to evoke calm for the viewer. She enlarges her photographs to 2 by 3 feet. This enlarged size makes the viewer feel as though they are enveloped by the scene.