From "The Future of the Past" Series
"This work references the architectural tropes of colonial monuments while abstracting the form and altering its materiality. Pillar to Change is the first iteration of a growing body of work, Protest Pillars that incorporate quilting as an ephemeral material and political process within the structural significance of metal armature. In this particular piece, the phallic shape of the sculpture is complicated by the implied intimacy of the hand-quilted inlaid upholstery. Additionally, this initial form is subject to change. The donated blue textile scraps producing its volume will continue to grow as participants add onto the frame each time it is exhibited. In time, the figurative and phallic shape of the sculpture will become more obscured transforming into another shape indicative of the generosity of participation and donation. This body of work continues to establish counter-hegemonic aesthetics as it builds off of previous bodies of work such as the Protest Banner Series and the Dissenting Debutantes Dresses."
~ Willoughby Lucas Hastings
Originally from Huntsville, Alabama I began my undergraduate education at the California Institute of the Arts, before transferring to the University of Georgia, where I graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2015. I recently received my Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, at Tufts University in 2019. During my time in the MFA program, I exhibited work in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA, The Center for Maine Contemporary Art Rockland, ME, and The Huntsville Museum of Art Huntsville, AL among several gallery and university shows. Since completing my MFA I have exhibited work at the Copley Society of Art Boston, MA, the Cullis Wade Gallery at Mississippi State University Starkville, MS, and Abigail Ogilvy Gallery Boston, MA.
In addition to exhibitions opportunities I have received grant funding and fellowship support including The Social Justice Fund Grant from The Tufts University Alumni Progressive Association, The Montague Travel Grant from the Graduate School at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, The Graduate Research Competition Grant from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, The Graduate Travel Support Program Grant from the Tufts University Office of the Provost, and the Dean’s Research Award from the Dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. This research funding allowed me to travel throughout the South and abroad to Ghana, to conduct field research into the history of the TransAtlantic and Domestic Slave trade and the ongoing effects of colonization. Currently I am a participant in two research fellowships, an Environmental Research Fellowship supported by Tufts University’s Institute of the Environment and a Post Graduate Teaching Fellowship with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in the Senior Thesis Department as I continue to pursue additional opportunities to teach in higher education, curate, and work in arts administration.
My art practice consists of two main research focuses the first, is situated in a critique of whiteness through the examination of Southern performative traditions like Debutante Balls and symbols of historical significance and present day charge like the Antebellum hoop skirt and pineapple. This work exposes the aesthetics and codes of colonialism that function to maintain ideological control identifying the ways the events of the past linger in the material and visual culture of the present. The second is built on socially engaged collaborative based works that reference the aesthetics of political protest and generational quilting collectives. This work establishes a counter-hegemonic visual vocabulary to promote multiplicity.