Pile presents over one hundred screen-printed, painted, and stuffed fabric objects that represent the complexities and cacophonous nature of a year marked by social uprisings and COVID shutdowns. Every piece in the exhibition has a story, many of which were inspired by interviews Healy conducted with people describing objects that captured their experiences and recent memories of the pandemic.
Pile features recreations of universally identifiable and obvious objects like masks and hand sanitizer bottles, but also includes more specific works like pepper spray canisters from the I-676 protest; life-saving medical injections for an interviewee's autoimmune disease; and Healy’s own positive pregnancy test. The “piled” format of this installation reflects the overwhelming nature of these unprecedented times and represents the artist's collective visual documentation of this messy and chaotic chapter in human existence.
Through her life-sized drawn, painted, and screen-printed fabric installations, Kay Healy investigates themes of home, loss, displacement, and resilience with interview-based projects. Healy received a BA from Oberlin College, and a MFA from the University of the Arts. Her installation Coming Home was purchased by the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and her work has been supported by the Independence Foundation’s Fellowship in the Arts. Healy has had solo exhibitions at Gallery Madison Park in New York City, Gallery Septima in Tokyo, Japan, the Windgate Gallery in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and other galleries.