Hayley Quentin – Shapeshift

June 03 – July 15, 2023

Opening: Friday, June 02, 2023 | 6 – 9 PM


LOOCK Galerie is very pleased to present the solo show Shapeshift of the artist Hayley Quentin that marks the beginning of the artist’s collaboration with the gallery.

Using both somatic awareness and a meticulous layering process, Hayley Quentin’s paintings are each a quiet whisper, a curled finger with a strange beauty, beckoning the viewer to linger in a world of in-between-ness, balanced on an ever-sliding scale. Working in soft, diaphanous layers of both watercolor and colored pencil, Quentin intentionally blurs focus. Illusionistic image dissolves into the materiality of thick, heavy canvas in which watercolor nestles deep into the valleys and colored pencil grazes the peaks. This slow, careful process allows for gradual emergence—or a shift. It is in the incremental where one can experience perception and feeling.

Each body of work exists perpetually between knowing and not knowing. Throughout her work, Quentin uses repeated motifs including lightning, archways, illuminated spiders, and ellipse-framed portraiture. These motifs reference the heavily loaded visual language of Western art-historical painting, and their meanings have, in the framework of modernity and coloniality, been reified and calcified. Quentin actively leans towards these “familiar” emblems precisely because they are supposedly, categorically, “known”. Fables, on the other hand, are often about that which cannot be fully understood or known. In Shapeshift, a named evocation of fable, Quentin holds the contradiction, layering this framework onto the represented motifs. In doing so, she spins a web of contemporary fables on longing, desire, and the myth of the mind—body split.

Like the most enduring fables, she approaches these concepts sideways, slipping in between the cracks shimmering in and out of observation, and massaging them open. A sense of infiniteness builds to a crescendo from which emerges the strangeness of sensations that are unfixed in time, in technique, and in their representation. Each piece, therefore, is an invitation to change one’s own perspective through a conscious pause, and a (re)connection to one’s own sensorial perception.