NEW YORK – For Gazing Globes, her first outdoor sculpture exhibition in New York, Paula Hayes recycled contemporary technological and industrial scrap material into a series of fantastical miniature landscapes housed within 18 transparent spheres on fiberglass pedestals. Like freshly fallen snow, dust made from pulverized CDs coated the multicolored metals and plastics of radio and transistor parts, glass vacuum tubes, shredded rubber tires, glass micro-beads, and acrylic wands, as well as crystals and minerals. Lit from within, the sculptures became even more mysterious at night.
The detritus-filled orbs gesture toward the past and the future. The gazing globe form originated as a medieval garden ornament thought to have protective power. In Hayes’s use, the globes encourage close consideration of the materials we discard daily, suggesting whole worlds composed of our trash. At the same time, the globes’ polycarbonate encasings literally reflected the current-day viewers and city around them.
Gazing Globes was on view in the West Gravel area of Madison Square Park from February 19 to April 19, 2015.