hoard /hɔrd, hoʊrd/


  • a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc.
  • an ancient store of valuable artifacts
  • a site-specific art installation by Carolyn Clayton


  • to accumulate for preservation, future use, etc., in a hidden or carefully guarded place


noun. store - stock - supply - reserve - treasure - fund

verb. amass - accumulate - garner - lay up - store - pile up


In April 2013 I will be exhibiting a new site-specific installation, hoard, in space #140 on the groundfloor of the Eastworks building.  Hoard will be installed as part of the REACH, a multi-city contemporary art festival, which will take place in Easthampton and Holyoke during the month of April.

"REACH invites local and national artists to show in a multi-city exhibition of contemporary practitioners working in a variety of non-traditional formats. REACH promotes visibility, aims to bridge the arts and spaces in neighboring cities, encourages collaborative experimentation, and invites community members to participate in experiencing an array of contemporary art practices that are exhibited in a variety of traditional, nontraditional, and underutilized spaces throughout participating cities."


The focal point of my installation will be a large central sculpture that takes the form of a mountainous rock formation.  The sculpture will be fabricated out of stacked sheets of blue insulation foam, leaving a hollow cavity inside.  Hot wire tools will be used to carve the crevices and textures of the rock face. After coating, strengthening and painting the surface, I will flip the form upside-down and fill it with layers of soft materials such as wax, plaster, foam, fabric and imbedded found objects.  This process is an expansion on techniques I've explored in previous works. The sculpture, once solidified, will be displayed on a welded steel stand.


studio progress shot, the beginning stages of building the mountain

During the course of the show, I will perform in uniform as the “worker” of the space, setting about specific tasks each day.  One task will be slicing, cutting, carving and excavating chunks of the fabricated rock, thus exposing their colorful interior layers. Another task will be studying, documenting, cataloging and archiving the chunks. As the installation evolves, the excavated pieces will become the new focus of the installation.  They will take on a new life of products, specimens, artifacts or valuables. 


A fabricated, crank-operated steel and canvas conveyor belt will sit along side the western-most wall.  Once excavated, the pieces will be placed onto the belt and slowly make their way towards the back of the space.  There will also be a drawing station and photographic station in the room for documenting and studying the chunks more in depth. On the eastern wall I will show a large image/drawing of the intact rock form that will function as a sort of topographic map. This map will potentially be filled or painted in as the rock form is reduced. I will convert a smaller room in the back of the space into a viewable storage area for the chunks to be archived.  The chunks will be displayed on shelving and spot lit.


Hoard is a further investigation into a variety of topics that have repeatedly emerged in my art practice over the past three years. I am interested in the accumulation of objects and the interstices between value and refuse.  I am curious about the human habits that arise out of our material-heavy culture: contrasting and overlapping rituals such as collecting, amassing, hoarding, organizing, cataloging, disposing or purging. These interests have lead to an exploration into spaces where things pile up and fester.  In spaces such as people’s homes, closets, landfills, construction sites, trashcans, thrift stores, and free piles, the histories and functions of objects become entangled or obscured.  I am also interested in the drive behind daily human labors and the repetitive motions, obsessions or boredom associated with such tasks.

With hoard I would like to draw a parallel between human accumulation and natural processes associated with the creation of the earth’s surfaces, mountains and sedimentary rock.  As the performer I will exist in an ambiguous role; a sort of amalgamation of scientist, geologist, archeologist, miner, surgeon, historian, collector, investigator, assembly line laborer and artist.

The diversity of the audience for hoard will be significant given that the exhibition space is right across from the RMV on the ground floor of Eastworks.  Hundreds of people linger each week on benches directly outside of the door of the installation site waiting for their number to be called.  There is a large glass window where viewers can see into the space while they wait.  During open hours people will be able to visit the installation and interact with me as I perform my duties. Since people would otherwise be spending that time just sitting and waiting, my hope is that my installation will occupy some time and offer something new to think about.  It will be an unexpected and appreciated space to come across contemporary art.  It is important to me for my art to be accessible to the general public, for this reason REACH is my dream exhibition.

Hoard is an ambitious and exciting new project for me.  While many of the materials being used are recycled, there are still many material expenses. A Mutual Aid Grant would cover a significant portion of these costs and allow me to fulfill the entirety of this vision.  The project is already underway, so the timing of this grant round would allow your contributions to be immediately realized and the results of the completed installation would be exhibited and open to the public next month!

Thank you for your time and consideration!

About the Artist

Carolyn Clayton received her BFA in 2009 from Carnegie Mellon University with a focus in sculpture, installation and site-specific work.  She has since completed a fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center in 2010. In 2012 she exhibited her solo show, In-Habit at the ECA+ Gallery in Easthampton as well as debuted her participatory project, Within Range at the WHOO Space in Northampton. A hybrid of object based sculpture, performance and video, her work explores the confluence of natural and artificial landscapes, the human need to accumulate stuff and the line between value and refuse.  Clayton has exhibited her work in Western Mass, Pittsburgh and New York City. She currently maintains a studio in the Eastworks building in Easthampton, MA. She is a Northampton native.


Video still from Home Slice, 2012 (Clayton pictured left)

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