Tales of Unhappy Love to the Glorious Flowers
Hayley Jane Dawson
Co-curated with Matilda Heydon.
An exhibition of artworks by Hayley Jane Dawson set in the Bothy in the grounds of the Art Park at House for an Art Lover. Tales of Unhappy Love to the Glorious Flowers is a conversation between the nurturing, sheltering nature of the Bothy, and the artist’s own exploration of motherhood.
The bothy, traditionally used in wild, remote landscapes as a shelter from harsh weather, defines the boundaries between the internal and the external as spaces in opposition. Dawson sees the sheltering nature of the bothy’s interior as evocative of the reductive notion that female spaces are innately private and nurturing. She subverts this by placing the outside in, interweaving cuttings from A Garden for a Plant Collector – a greenhouse designed for the Art Park by Gross Max Landscape Architects – with sculptural female forms.
Identifying as a feminist, queer artist, Dawson questions the heteronormative cultural expectations of women to perform reproductive labour. The installation is an exploration of Dawson’s own rejection of traditional female roles. She uses fabric sculptures that reference female body parts to imagine the act of childbirth, and the emotions that are embodied through it.
As part of the exhibition programme, the artist held a ceramics and plant cuttings workshop that invited participants to explore these questions through making their own pieces.
Hayley Jane Dawson is an artist working and living in Glasgow. She is currently studying Sculpture and Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art. Dawson is interested in the representation of the female body in society and makes mixed media sculptures with bodily connotations and memories that reflect this cultural obsession. Growing up in a predominantly female household, she has experienced the complexities of womanhood and femininity from a very young age. These encounters now intertwine with her personal life as well as her professional work as an artist.