Hailey Petty (she/they) is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist living and working in Edmonton on Treaty 6 territory. She was born in Quesnel, BC, and raised in Grande Prairie, AB. Hailey is an emerging artist primarily working in painting, printmaking, and drawing with a BFA from the University of Alberta. Lately, she’s been focusing on the human experience by portraying documented experiences in distorted ways and by presenting insignificant micro-moments as exceptional. She has recently had work shown at CARFAC art/WORK net/WORK gallery (2022) and CO*LAB communities Solstice gallery (2022-3).
Lately, I have been interested in exploring the human experience and focusing on minute details in day-to-day life. In my work, I tend to visually center the body and focus on how the environment affects it. Whether the environment is shown or not, the impact on the figure is dominant. Recurring themes I currently focus on include; how we perceive the body as grotesque and awkward, even in completely natural states. And how we wouldn’t think twice about it in the comfort of our private spaces. The body language and nonverbal forms of communication we use to convey emotion. And documented experiences through photography and what we deem important enough to photograph. Seeing the experiences, emotions, and moments in people’s lives is incredibly engaging and relatable when given the chance to be observed. Narrative clues are mostly used through body language or facial expressions to allow the viewer to be intuitive in their understanding of the work and figure out how it relates to them. I frequently use myself as a model since my own life experiences are the most accessible to me and I can easily recreate specific scenes and emotions. I take inspiration from digital media artists, contemporary figure painters, and graffiti artists. My references are often distorted in some way, which is an important element in my own art. The distortion helps me remove the figure from reality and allows it to be considered in a separate space from reality as well as add a humorous element. By observing these figures doing menial tasks, expressing emotions, and interacting with the environment I aim to create a response where the viewer can start to think about how these narratives relate to their own lives.
Family, 48 x 51in, oil on canvas, 2022
Awkward, 48 x 40in, acrylic on canvas, 2022
Who are you looking at?, 31 x 43in, oil on board, 2022
Dentist, 16 x 40in, acrylic on board, 2022
Nervous, 11 x 15in, collagraph, 2021