Cicely Carew x Kate Holcomb Hale
Is It Wednesday Yet?
May 6 - 29, 2022
Kate Holcomb Hale
Photo credit: Dan Watkins
Photo credit: Joyelle West
LaiSun Keane presents Is It Wednesday Yet?
Two-person exhibition with Kate Holcomb Hale and Cicely Carew
May 6 - 29, 2022
Exploring the nature of collaboration, communication and connection, artists Cicely Carew and Kate Holcomb Hale come together in LaiSun Keane’s May exhibition, Is It Wednesday Yet?. The exhibition will include new collections of each artist’s individual works, as well as works the artists created together to activate the gallery space.
The Boston-based artists each make abstracted sculptures using unusual, found and common household materials, embracing color and exalting prosaic objects and materials into a discourse on ephemerality and the desire to make the invisible visible.
Holcomb Hale’s paper clay impressions of pieces of her home – door hinges, wainscotting – feel like snatches of a dream. Fueled by the drive to capture space, time and memory, her massive, lumbering slipcovers of her family dining table, collapsing upon itself, brings questions of the weight of domesticity and the labor involved in keeping things appearing upright. Precipitated by the responsibility to sell her family home following the death of her father, Holcomb Hale’s new work questions the lifespan of an object and reflects on the ways we place emotional and relational signifiers onto the invisible and overlooked.
Carew’s exuberant sculptures, using familiar materials and explosive color, push against the boundaries and bindings of social and inherited constructs. By asking what it means to un-bind and re-create, Carew’s instinctive artistic practice gives a sense of place to the unheard and unspoken. Carew’s new work is deeply personal, a reflexive and intuitive response to heartbreak, longing and the desire for home. Confronting the illusion of certainty and a never-ending craving for liberation, she creates in a process that involves the whole body, joyously and assertively taking up space.
In preparation for the exhibition, Holcomb Hale and Carew started meeting weekly for studio time together, where they worked in concert with one another on a series of large-scale paintings on yupo paper. While Kate and Cicely had known of each other before working together, this process impelled the creation of a remarkable and unique friendship, where language was superseded by each artist’s marks and gestures, created in conversation and response to the other. Sharing space and working side by side over several months, the artists developed a sense of trust and vulnerability with one another, building what Carew calls a “radical friendship, one that is not performative, where we each showed up in all of our complexity and wholeness, ready to work.”
“While I met Kate and Cicely separately, I immediately found their works to be kindred in sense yet disparate,” says LaiSun Keane. “I was intrigued by the idea of putting them in the same studio, to see how they could activate the space independently as well as collaboratively. The fact that they are also working mothers juggling homemaking and child rearing duties with their art practice is admirable to me.”
In addition to the pieces created during the Wednesday sessions, Carew and Holcomb Hale will create a piece in situ during the exhibition.
Is It Wednesday Yet? will be on view May 6-29, 2022 at LaiSun Keane Gallery, 460C Harrison Ave C8A, Boston MA 02118.
Cicely Carew is a Boston based painter, printmaker and public art collaborator. She has had works commissioned by Prudential Center Boston, Peloton, NYC and Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center Boston for their public spaces. Her works are in the permanent collection of Fidelity, Simmons University, Northeastern University and many more. She holds a BFA from MassArt, Boston MA and MFA from Lesley University, Cambridge MA.
Kate Holcomb Hale is an artist living and working in the greater Boston area. She has won or been selected as finalist at multiple juried shows most notably Best in Show at the Cambridge Art’s 15th National Prize Show awarded by Paul Ha, Director, List Visual Arts Center at MIT Cambridge MA. Her works have been commissioned by Google for their permanent collection. She graduated with an MFA from Maine College of Art, Portland ME.