Rachel Garrard: Process Series
Letting go of material life by holding onto the mineral leftovers of ceremonial practices.About the exhibition
´You know I didn't eat anything for two days before I started this new painting. I stayed at home not communicating with anyone, trying to detach myself from the outside world. Then I woke up at 5 am, meditated, had a coffee and started to paint!´ - Rachel shared with me in our initial conversation few years ago. She acknowledged her search for purity and insight to access the right dimension which she can then translate onto canvas.
Rachel Garrard works using the proportions and dimensions of her body, as well as sensations and her ability to connect to the environment around her. She follows old myths and creates her own. She produces her own materials, which she accumulates through her lengthy travels and encountered experiences. Anything from earthy muds to desert rocks that she carefully grinds and turns into pigment. The process and ritual forms a crucial part in her production, it is the process that initiates and inspires the work. She goes on journeys for weeks or months, where she uses performance to produce the work, incorporating available resources such as fire, sand, water, snow or earth.
The series of paintings Residual were made over the ceremonial fire, used by the local shamans in the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Garrard employed the burning action as a symbol of letting go of the material life, while using the smoke and ash as a perishable symbol of what is left after everything else diminishes.
About the curator
Marina Kurikhina is a Russian born curator based in Los Angeles who spent most of her professional life working in London and focusing on international projects with a particular attention on Latin American contemporary art.
As a cultural hybrid agent she explores the same notion in her projects. Her vision examines the world through a transcultural lens in post-identity terms, recognising hybridity as the essential element of today´s reality. In her projects she redefines already established roles and archetypes.
Marina represented Fortes Vilaca Gallery in London without a physical space and worked with a high calibre roaster of Latin American artists dealing directly with renowned European institutions and collectors. In the same way years earlier she established a Mexican non-profit, Fundacion Magnolia, which she launched during the 59th Venice Bienniale and kept active through a hybrid series of exhibitions from Russia to London.
Her Agency Atelier MK focused on furthering this vision by promoting artists, independent projects and international collections.
Marina also created one of the largest public installations in London, called “The Wall” in South Kensington. A large format retrospective of Stefan Brüggemann´s text pieces, “The Wall” has its own identity and a publication supported with an interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
Marina is currently focusing on a series of exhibitions on the process of art making, highlighting the journey and ritual of the artistic process.