Hayley Nichols | Featured Artist

September 5, 2017

Image of Vol. 09.05.2017 | Hayley Nichols


Hayley Nichols draws personal lessons and spiritual wisdom from the routine, disposable secular rituals most of us cycle through without thought. Her latest series, Common Practice, challenges the viewer to do the same, by stretching out these small moments into concrete, welcoming, demanding objects. Used paper napkins from a shared meal become drawings and prints honoring an all too temporary moment of human connection. A paper towel roll’s final sheet is saved and framed to mark time’s loss and the invisible trail of its use and disposal.
These works engender feelings of both playfulness and loss. By beckon ing the viewer’s focus to these temporary moments, Nichols reveals both the sensory delight and inevitable melancholy in trying to stay present. The viewer both enjoys their sudden awareness of an object or ritual they generally ignore, and simultaneously witnesses their inability to stay in such a state for long. Common Practice speaks to shared experience, both internal and external, highlighting the potential richness hidden inside the seemingly mundane

Commonplace: commonly found or seen; ordinary, unremarkable

I look for what we choose to ignore.

Every week or two, I run out of paper towels and the time comes to change the roll. I pick it up, holding it in my left hand, while my right gently clutches the loose side of the last sheet. Giving it just enough of a tug, the towel peels from the cardboard tube making audible the sound of the glue letting go of its grip.

This is a moment I look for.

I strive for all of my work to be a vehicle for pausing and unfolding. What do we notice? What do we choose to ignore? What are we willing to reconsider? How can we excavate our assumptions? Where is the room for change?