Rachel worked as a chemical engineer for 15 years before retraining as a Fine Artist. Rachel now combines an academic practice in design history with a practice based on ephemeral, site-specific text installations. The texts are architecturally and temporally sensitive pieces to be contemplated as statements, poetic observations or instructions. She chooses spaces that people move through routinely, highlighting the physicality of reading and exploring the difficulties of engaging with an audience in transit rather than focused on a destination.
Comprising a single word, the text is disrupted by the site’s architecture to slow the process of reading down and so engaging the viewer in the moment. The reading of the text requires effort - physically and mentally. Through the use of extremes of scale, the words are to be discovered. As single words they have no imposed narrative allowing the viewer to link the word to the site themselves, in whatever manner they desire. Meditative in concept, the intention is that reading and contemplation of the word reconnects the viewer’s physical, mental and emotional states.
The choice of word derives from research into the site – from its history and its possible future, chosen to be open, lyrical and multi-layered rather than closed and directional. Using the same visual language of wayfinding the word directs attention only to itself. The work is impermanent either erased or disposed of after display.
Research and external activities
Recent research has considered Muriel Cooper’s use of white space in the design of Learning From Las Vegas, the use of novel pedagogical methods in the Design Quiz at the Britain Can Make Exhibition of 1946, and the implications of vibrant materiality for sustainable textile use.
Professional qualifications and memberships
- Higher Education Academy (FHEA) Fellow.
- Design History
- MA, History of Design and Material Culture, Brighton University
- MA, Fine Art Studio Practice – University of the West of England (UWE)
- BA, Art and Visual Culture – University of the West of England (UWE)
- BSc, Chemical and Process Engineering – Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
Research and academic outputs
Evans, R (2019) 'Leopard in kitten heels: the politics of Theresa May’s sartorial choices.' Clothing Cultures, 6 (2). pp. 199-213. ISSN 2050-0742