Gently Precarious: 2014

Eccentricity, irony, and failure are together at play as I build a series of staged narratives for viewers to unpack. Inspired by an unlikely grouping of sources including (but not limited to): iSpy books, Surrealism, Pixar films’ “Easter Eggs”, and the computerized game of Solitaire, in which there are a small percentage of un-winnable games that can be dealt to all players, I am constructing a body of images that are humorous, forlorn, nostalgic, and curious at once.

The process of building the images is a source of great momentum for the work, though laborious and many times rooted in a number of initial failures itself. Carefully researching and selecting locations, building or acquiring necessary materials and props, and finally bringing these elements together to form an image - all of these components are integral to the final images, which are transformed from documents of site-based sculptures through careful attention to color palette, light, and a central composition.

In many of the images, hidden clues are placed as rewards for careful viewers to discover - like a vacuum cleaner placed in the corner of a dark room, the same vacuum used in previous images by a figure standing in a seemingly unclean-able warehouse full of sand, or a corkboard filled with an unruly number of colorful tacks, the same tacks previously used to scatter a welcome mat laying beneath a doorway. The lack of a successful or ideal outcome is apparent in many of the images, though the uniting thread between the work is the presence of an “attempt”. I intend for these elaborately constructed mistakes and misfortunes to still feel human and vaguely familiar, despite a deliberate lack of the human figure. Through careful placement and construction, it is my hope

that the images will feel gently precarious, inspiring playful but thoughtful consideration of our very human day-to-day attempts and failures in living and in the process of art-making.

© Rachael Hulme 2019
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