Artists Statement

Rachel Davy

Working in sculpture, drawing and performance, I explore autobiography through artworks which often encompass the structured rules of time and its movements. Many of these pieces are life- works. Artworks that both have the potential to continue my whole lifespan but are self-aware of the non-linear passing of time in what writer Anthony Huberman would call the ‘unknowablilty’ of existence. In particular life-works such as 23040 Breaths (Only a Day), I endeavour to capture ephemeral moments using my own breath, breathing ink onto paper and using measurements of time to mark the passing of a moment in relation to my body and state of mind. My sculptural practice too is centred around the body and materiality is important to this relationship. For me, there is a stillness within plaster that acts like a capturing of a moment within its sculptural surface, because of this there is an absence of tangible life but there is also an aura of presence withing the material. This comes from the medium’s three dimensionality, like there could be the essence of another body in the room. As such the qualities of a sculpture, for example absence in presence, lend themselves naturally to my concepts of physicalising loss and other such emotions, using negative and positive space to convey this. For me there is a pureness in the plaster. There is an honesty too within the material. It does not pretend to be what it is not and this is why I often don’t use colour. I believe that the artwork has to be respectful of its history as a material and theorists such as Rosalind Krauss have influenced this decision in my practice. Artists such as Hanne Darboven, On Kawara and Rachel Whiteread remain central to my exploration of time as a form of repetition and objects as relics for memories. In my performance I use the sculptural objects and drawings in direct contact with participants, often giving out drawings and sculptures in an act of sharing objects that hold messages and memories which can openly be interpreted by a viewer.

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