a mirror with breath like stone
September 23, 2023 - November 19, 2023
Joy Ray’s interdisciplinary practice explores textiles as instruments of divination, adopting techniques like quilting and weaving to conduct inquiries into the spectral, speculative, and unreliable. Central to Ray’s research into the unknowable are methods of abstraction, concealment, illumination, and reconstitution that extract visual language from source materials like archival texts and oral histories.
a mirror with breath like stone utilizes the history of MOAH:CEDAR as a former jail, courthouse, and library examining the permeation of time through the aesthetics of archival decay. Her use of tombstone-like textile sculptures immortalizes the historic front-page stories from the Antelope Valley Ledger-Gazette. Encrusted with charcoal, ash, and sand from the nearby desert, these works evoke the fires that periodically ravaged Lancaster’s archival records and municipal buildings. Using translucent silk banners, fabric, chicken wire sculptures, and audio works on vintage records, viewers are transported through the layers of spectral history of MOAH:CEDAR.
Joy Ray lives and works in Hawaiʻi and Los Angeles. Her work has been featured at the Museum of Quilts and Textiles in San Jose, California, the Hawaiʻi Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hawaiʻi State Art Museum, and the Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in Lancaster, California. Ray’s work is held in the collection of MOAH and in private collections. She has been featured in publications including the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Artillery, and whitehot. Joy Ray holds a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College.