Kathy Robinson-Hays, Receding, 2012
I am drawn to misﬁts, outsiders, leftovers, rejects, remnants and samples. Recently I have been thinking a lot about the word obsolete. I have been photographing for the past two years what I see outside the window of the train and bus on my commute to Dallas where I work as an objects restorer/ conservator. The series of photographs is called the Red Line and Beyond. Fragments from what I capture in the photos from the commute end up in my paper pieces. I documented the demolition of Reunion Arena, which was accomplished over a period of months with the roof being brought down by a process called tripping, ending with a controlled drop rather than an implosion. While reading about the process I was struck by a comment that described Reunion Arena as obsolete when it was built. I constantly worry where everything we make and invent in this world will go.
Always heavy into self editing and very aware how fast our own work as artists can become obsolete I cut and rescue my favorite characters and elements from my piles of rejects. I try to combine the real, the ﬁgurative, the abstract, the organic with the antique and out of fashion. Paint and tea samples are saved, elaborated on and become a focus in the work instead of remaining hidden. Color swatches, doodles leftover shapes from cutting out other elements are retrieved and used to generate new imagery. I have baggies full of the good, the bad and the ugly and everything resulting from just working in the studio. Their easy portability allows me to take them when traveling by plane on trips and work with them again when back in the studio. These cut paper, organza, tea and paint samples reference grafﬁti, ads, op art and trackhoes along with invented cartoon like characters. I work in a stream of consciousness, collaging my past work as well as creating new elements and choreographing them on a sheet of paper until they feel like they have landed and found their place, creating new scenarios, surreal landscapes and second chances.
- Kathy Robinson-Hays, 2012