the journey | self & clay
Moody, overcast and grey skies, the elegant rise and fall of the seabirds on the wind, a raven watching, the persistent whistle of the wind through the bones of the studio. The sea sculpting the strandline, rocks and stones washed in, washed out. Tangle comes, tangle goes, the edges, the inbetween.
Stones, pebbles, bits of string, a feather, a bone. Many of us feel the need to collect these things, they tell us of what has been. A narrative that subtly changes with the ebb and flow of the weather. All noted, many recalled on the layers of the ceramic surface.
Not seeking to imitate nature but hoping to evoke a cherished memory, sense of peace or the feeling of being alive as the elements tear through the landscape. There is no deep meaning to Rachelle’s work but simply layers of the visual narrative that resides within her head. Moments of the everyday walks along the wild North Atlantic Ocean, along the edges of the island, the edges between land and sea. those places that change with the tides.
One that simply regards a broken scraped surface to be the most beautiful of things, one that tells a story of its journey. The clay, the process from the earth to the fire and onwards. The stones shaped by water and movement.
A visual tale, one which we will never know, one that we can only imagine.
Created in the studio using hand-building and age old techniques of pinching, coiling and shaping slowly and thoughtfully with her hands, layers are added and scraped away, various clays are used to achieve different textures and finishes. Gathered pieces, a natural collector there is always something to be found in Rachelle's pockets, crumbled, scrunched or broken that can be added to a surface. Pigments scraped from the land.
There is a sense, a feeling that the pieces are like ourselves, layers of debris, sharp, soft, gouged, gentle, hiding the strength that lies beneath. The many thousands of stones on the beach are as individual as each and every one of us, some perfectly shaped, some broken, some sparkle, some just are. Some in constant motion, some just stuck. some stay still, solid, forming a firm foundation, others just resting for the change of the tide.
Everything comes from the earth and everything shall eventually return