Madison Square Park Conservancy announces Hugh Hayden commission for January 2022
28 July 2021
Madison Square Park Conservancy has announced the presentation of a newly commissioned public art project by Hugh Hayden, titled 'Brier Patch', scheduled to open on 18 January 2022.
The ambitious installation will comprise one-hundred elementary school-style desks, the surfaces and seats of which will erupt with tree branches, ultimately cohering into one tangled assembly. Diminutive desks signal both intellectual development that burst through the formative years and dour seats of learning that witness the overgrowth of nature where no activity transpires – dual outcomes of an education system where some excel and others are left behind.
Hayden’s references in 'Brier Patch' stem from 1881 when Joel Chandler Harris published Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings, now widely condemned and critiqued for describing an idyllic Southern plantation life. To the artist, the brier patch functions as a metaphoric refuge or a prison.
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