About the Artist
Kathy Robinson-Hays is a Canadian born, longtime Texas visual artist and art conservator/restorer. She and her husband, fellow artist Terry Hays, currently live in Duncanville, Texas and have worked side by side in their home studio for years. Kathy has had a lifelong interest in the conservation of objects, leading to her career at Brown Mountain Art Restoration in Dallas as a professional art and antique restorer/conservator specializing in porcelain and ethnographic objects. She received her B.F.A. Honors in painting from the University of Manitoba, and, after studying in Italy and New York, she obtained her M.A. in studio art from the N.Y.U. Venice Study Abroad Program. She has taken courses in Care of Textiles at the Campbell Center of Mount Carroll and The Conservation of Gilt Wood at the Smithsonian Institution. Her work has been included in New American Paintings, Studio Visits Magazine, and she was recently included in Peripheral Vision Issue 7, Salon 2017, curated by Georgia Erger. Her work has also been included in many juried shows and is included in private collections in Canada and the U.S. She is currently represented by Ro2 Art in Dallas
Working for many years as an objects restorer/conservator has had a profound effect on the way I see things. I am attracted to misfits, leftovers, rejects, ruins and things which have become obsolete. My work collages these elements as well as my own samples and tests, embellishing and choreographing them on paper, silk, drafting film or the wall until they feel like they have landed and found their place. My recurring worries are once we have created things where does it all go, everything from nuclear and toxic waste to our cell phones, our own artwork - the list goes on.
I work in a stream of consciousness. The samples become the work. The rejects, often years old, are resurrected, transformed by different processes and interests and they become my new paintings, sculptures and installations. Nothing is forgotten, hopefully now rethought, reshaped, overpainted and transformed by our world today and just maybe a bit of magic might occur.. The materials chosen; semi transparent silk organza, drafting film and aluminum wire lend themselves to tracing, recording and constantly changing their shape. I realize while I admire gorgeous thick applications of paint in other artists’ work I cannot bring myself to work that way. Instead in my frugal way of working, I water down my acrylics till they reference watercolor. I use masking fluid to always keep and expose the original drafting film surface in the final piece. Then I paint certain areas with hundreds of exaggerated beads of iridescent paint in an attempt to define and activate the surface, till it almost becomes like a piece of braille to me.
I am attracted to an organic kind of abstraction with swirling energy and movement, that occasionally places a rendered object, often from a photograph in the midst of this surreal landscape. Things from space or above, usually coming from the right are always flying through my painterly spaces. I have worried for many years now that we behave more like tourists than the keepers of this fragile planet. Doom always seems right on the edge.
As an adoptee, I have always imagined myself to be a thousand different people from a multitude of different landscapes. I believe my work has followed a similar path, one of constant searching and experimentation, always seeking new indefinable experiences.