Donte Hayes ♻️ 2023 March | Art Exhibitions

Donte Hayes

Artifacts are a tangible history which have the capacity to retain, transform, destroy, erase and evoke lost knowledge. My artwork is informed by researching traditional African heirlooms and initiation rites of birth, adulthood, marriage, eldership, and ancestry which are essential to all human growth and speaks to the greater African diaspora. Along with my interest in history, science-fiction, and hip-hop culture, I utilize ceramics as a historical and base material to inform memories of the past. The handling of clay reveals the process and shares the markings of its maker. By using a needle tool, I create individual marks on the surface of the clay with each strand becoming a collective form. I compare the construction and deconstruction of materials to the remix in rap music and how human beings adapt to different environments and reinvent new identities. The application of repeated texture and patterns on the surface of my sculptures imbue a visual language of memory, ritual, comfort and a sense of familiarity to the viewer. These sculptures are vessels that are turned upside down further symbolizing the crazy world we live in. Ceramics becomes a bridge to conceptually integrate disparate objects and or images for the purpose of creating new understandings and connections with the material, history, and social-political issues. These modern artifacts preserve, empower, and document the past and present to initiate healing and understanding for the future.


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