Julie Hayward
Katrin Bucher-Trantow

Julie Hayward draws. Freehand, drawing on her internal resources. This automated drawing can be an end in itself, or then again it is a way of getting at the plastic shapes that rise from the subconscious and become independent, to form perfectly acceptable bodies of their own in space. Often the objects, which are made of synthetics such as foam rubber, polyester or latex, are reminiscent of well-designed everyday objects that have somehow lost their functional usefulness. They stand, lie or hang like accessories taken from Gulliver’s children’s room, rather overlarge in a room that has apparently shrunk, involuntarily reminding viewers of the Lilliputians. The works that so markedly define the space for viewers evoke a perverse ambiguity in doing so, not only because of their titles such as Suck (ill.), Shelter or Bound Slippers, but above all because of their childish shapes - and yet they are anything but just cute. TV Baby (2 x 2m) for example has rounded shapes and is coated with a soft, pink skin, but looks so artificially sterile and perfect that it reveals an overt obsessiveness that affects us unpleasantly while we’re looking at it. We’re not sure whether the "baby" is the offspring of the domestic entertainment machine, or whether it’s about TV-addicted children at home. At any rate, it is covered with a silicone skin, has umbilical cord-like connections to all parts of its body, which is made up of various organic shapes, and in its artificial beauty and obsessive perfection is reminiscent of objects by Beate Use.  Unlike in Monica Bonvicini, these fantasy objects are not in the tradition of Body Art but are more akin to works by Jeff Koons or even Erwin Wurm, and bear the stamp of ironic Pop and also the eeriness of the long familiar that Freud describes. O. T., 2008 (ill.), a work commissioned for the Kunsthaus, is probably less ironic than eerie, and was discovered among her drawings for the subject. Various rings with spokes like seed capsules or whorls of an unknown species together begin to form a column, sit up and seem now ready for life in the artificiality of a prosthesis.

Printed in the catalogue:
Leben! Biomorphe Formen in der Skulptur.
Ed.: Peter Pakesch, Publishing Company: Walter König, Köln
On the occasion of the same titled exhibition, Kunsthaus Graz, 2008-2009