Recycling Nature: Revitalizing The Handmade Tradition

January 18 - May 2, 2020

My imagery comes from what I see in nature. From a hollow in a tree to a break in the clouds, absence is a recurring motif. These spaces intrigue me, and I begin to wonder where they might lead. The work is my response to the intricacies and depth of natural forms. I seek to observe the processes of nature and embody them in my own works of art.

Lines are the building block of my world. The printmaking process allows for a technical consideration of how these lines are distributed throughout the work, with the weight of each line relating directly to how much time it etches. Their physical qualities carry weight; they do not descend into the paper but protrude from the surface.

Lines develop into curves, from curves to semi-circles, and from semi-circles to the full circle. This stylistic tendency comes from my interest in openings in nature—those places around which nature’s complex forms develop. Close studies of natural objects reveal holes in their surfaces. The space is a
source of weight—a fulcrum point that seizes my attention by giving the illusion of an even deeper space, seeming to recede to infinity. The lines radiate out from these seeming voids—the starting points for infinite variation within the work.

As each line extends outward, the form begins to resemble how it occurs in nature: subject to the elements around it. This may be a vine changing direction because of other competing growth, a tree trunk consuming a barbed wire fence, or even the clay that once made-up a riverbank eroding away
during a flood. Ultimately, my work is about discovering, then understanding, and finally expressing an attitude toward nature.

Rachel Singel is an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville. Rachel grew up on a small farm in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in 2009 and a Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the University of Iowa in 2013. Rachel has participated in residencies at the Penland School of Crafts, the Venice Printmaking Studio, Internazionale di Grafica Venezia, and Art Print Residence in Barcelona, Spain. She has studied non-toxic printmaking at the Grafisk Eksperimentarium studio in Andalusia and recently continued her research at Wharepuke Print Studios in New Zealand. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and represented in private, public and museum collections.


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