Becky Bailey is an artist whose practice is an ongoing attempt at resisting the compulsion of production and consumption, and the unceasing demands on our time and attention. She makes objects as a way to focus attention, slow down, and steep herself, and the viewer, in ambiguity, mystery, and unknowns. Her multi media process incorporates painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and papermaking. 

Before enrolling as an MFA candidate at the University of Connecticut, Becky completed several residencies, including at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, The Studios at MASS MoCA, and Monson Arts Center, and has shown work in exhibitions across the U.S., including New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Massachusetts.


I don’t know when it started, but at some point in my childhood I began making little shrines around dead animals I found in the woods. A bat, a bird, a squirrel. I think one of my friends must have done it first, someone older than me and more ghoulish probably, but it stuck. Every time I came upon some poor deceased soul, I’d place little sticks, small rocks, a flower if I could find one, around the body in some configuration. It wasn’t about making meaning, but creating mystery and an inexplicable significance. My memories are filled with these explorations in the woods of northern New Jersey. Finding those animals or their bones, building things with clay from a stream, stumbling upon a rusted out hunk of metal from some vehicle, tool, instrument? I’d climb on these ruins, peek inside, and wonder where it came from and why it was left there. The landscape held secrets, and wouldn’t give them up easily.

I feel the same way about art. Object-making is an exploration in itself, a desire to find something that feels significant, while not knowing what that looks like or when it’ll happen. It isn’t about revealing, but knowing that some secret is lurking just under the surface. There is something elusive to uncover, and it defies me. Art-making is my method of finding mystery.