Photo: „Aequilibration“, Kunstverein Rosenheim
The question as to the role sculpture plays in contemporary visual arts is closely linked to the question of how it relates, as an installation, to the surrounding space. Environments as integral models that bring forth an artistic statement and generate meaning serve to call into question current life situations and their manifestations in culture. Julie Hayward's sculptures address the function of environments, focusing on elements within a domestic context and the deconstruction of their three-dimensionality. On a psychological level Hayward explores the idea of "feeling at home", focusing on the desires and illusions underlying this social construct. On closer scrutiny, the seemingly familiar objects confront the be-holder with something that is apparently unsettling and evokes a sense of anxiety. But this reaction could from one moment to the next shift to the level of humor. A state of fear that can become all-pervasive but essentially is difficult to pin down and thus recalls Freud's theory of the uncanny - here something frightening emerges because of long-familiar experiences stored in the subconscious.
Hayward's objects are reminiscent of elements of a domestic setting, cradles, chandeliers or legs of children but their effects are much more far-reaching and not just oriented at the reality of a certain aspect of everyday life. The question that can be posed with reference to the history of the media: How objectively can objects be designed in a world in which reality and objectivity are simulated by means of the media and ultimately refer only to construed aspects of reality to which we must keep a critical distance. The unfathomable character of Hayward's sculptures switches, in Freudian style, to a parallel level of the psyche on which the uncanny is linked to everyday feelings only to reappear in a humorous way in an artistic formal idiom. The ethereality of the space corresponds to the seeming ethereality of the objects. As a result of the combinations of various materials and the skillful execution, Hayward's objects that are sometimes suspended in space resemble cosmonautic or utopian formations. Amorphous formations whose three-dimensionality begins to fill the space, reveal a hard outer shell, which is sometimes lined with synthetic leather or with materials resembling orthopedic supports. The inner core of these objects often reveals a lining of plush. By the same token, color nuances recalling the skin color of orthopedic supports alternate with the black so that there is a positive-negative effect referring to the psycho-logical depths of what is being displayed.