R.Smith Art


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  • In these pieces I was working with indexing and organization by utilizing A thru Z recipe dividers as well as the 3x5 size common to index cards. The use of old and new images paired with select words enabled new associations for the viewer. In the piece on the left side I was working more with play on words and associations between the text and the images. The piece on the right was more of an exercise to of creating compositions on a 3x5 scale.
  • This is my second larger A-Z index collection that combined a stronger unity between the compositional design elements and the conceptual word/image associations. The collages are made with found images from a variety of sources both old and new, and on each index there is a word that begins with the letter on the card that also play off of and dialoge with the image.
  • A detail of two cards in the group. A goal with these index groupings is to make it so that the viewer would need to approach the work potentially numerous times to pick-up on all the meanings and words imbedded within the index cards. The piece can be taken in as an entire unit when looked at from a distance, but the discovery of subtle nuances in the work can only be obtained from a physically close interaction with the piece.
  • Over the first semester I was collecting found objects, usually metal or mechanical looking and then paired them with sewing patterns and reorganizing them into a new aesthetic. In this grouping I started looking at at trash or useless objects with a new sense of purpose, as art. By combining sewing patterns and metal objects I began to create a narrative of masculine and feminine. By reorganizing the patterns and parts I create “machine” type objects that do nothing, but suggest that they could or might have had a function at some point.
  • Machines detail – The common thread between these “machines” and the indexes is based around organization and how technologies can become obsolete. New medias replace the old ones and are basically rendered useless or inefficient. I am interested in exploring these old technologies and/or repurposing the old into new art.
  • Toaster and Lamp. They were attempts to move away from the wall and used found objects and apply patterns to them. Ultimately with this body of work I would like to put patterns on gendered objects, to emphasize the contrast between. These are not successful in my opinion, but it has helped me begin to understand a world away from the wall.
  • Second semester I started to work even in an even smaller format. With these collages I was working again with image and text, and for these particular set I was trying to see how small I could get them in order to create an intimacy both through there physical size as well as images that suggest privacy. These works are 2x3 inches. Notions of previous ownership in found objects and images are used in order to produce a tension between intimacy or exposure.
  • My work lately I have been trying to understand the notion of the feminine, and women’s roles in society and in relationship to the home and domesticity. In these I use anatomy images of female body parts, or images associated with the home. Artists that I have been looking at in conjunction with my collages are Kurt Schwitters for his use of trash and Barbara Kruger’s play with words especially her works relating to gender. I had 6 of these in a show this summer at Flying Trout Winery, Walla Walla, WA.
  • These are 4x4 collages made for group called spraygraphics that was displayed the works in two locations in Tempe, Arizona. The only restriction was that it must be on a 4x4 size. They are continuations of image/text associations, as well as nostalgic ideas surrounding gender. They were additionally show at the Flying Trout Winery.
  • These are 3 collages in a set of 13 that are being made for a collage/mixed media exchange called Baker’s dozen associated with the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction in Fort Worth, Texas where one of the collages will be kept as a part of their permanent collections. Additionally trying to work with a slightly larger scale for the collages at 11x14. In most of these I try and continue to work with systems and organization mixed with old imagery.
  • I also continued to develop A-Z index cards using more text and fewer images to create an odd/humorous/creepy dialogues with a nostalgic appeal. In my previous indexes I had more visuals with fewer words and I wanted to explore how more reading and less visuals would alter aesthetic and meaning. The majority of the text and images were taken from two books one being an old anatomy book and the other about reading peoples body language as a play on interior/exterior readings of the body.
  • Index detail of two of the indexes
  • Recipe cards – In continuation with my apparent obsession with index size format I am currently working on an installation piece using old handwritten or typewritten recipes dangling from strings. I would say that this is still a works in-progress, because I have not moved it to a space outside of my studio. Installations have been an area that I have never dealt with or explored in my art and I wanted to see how I could utilize the empty space of a room rather than the walls.
  • The ideas I am trying to work with are based in the a nostalgic longing of origins and the mother as a place of origins. Additionally I am aiming to create a piece that has significance with collective and individual memory, and how the mother, and nostalgia have universal and personal connections to people. I am trying to amplify ideas about mother/food/home as an idealized place of comfort/safety that people attempt to nostalgically return to.
  • Memory box These boxes are another project that I am working as an exploration of other people’s lives through the objects they leave behind. I am interested in the idea of traces and will be further exploring this idea in relationship to this work. Also continuing the use of things that are now considered useless or obsolete like film.
  • Memory Box - In reading Baudrillard’s System of Objects further connections have been made surrounding narratives through objects as well as symbolism through objects such as a nostalgic longings of origins. As well as the significance of collecting and collections as they relate to the collector.

    Artists that I have been looking at in connection to these boxes are Joseph Cornell, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Mark Dion, while tying in ideas from Baudrillard as a way of interpreting their artwork.

    Overall I am trying to get a better grasp of my concepts and push my visuals to a place that I have never taken them through installation, and collections as a way to explore traces of humanity and origins through nostalgic objects.

  • R.Smith Art

    1. 1. Rachel Smith MFA Presentation
    2. 2. Mixed Media/Collage
    3. 3. Mixed media/Collage
    4. 4. Detail
    5. 5. Found objects, Sewing patterns, Mixed media
    6. 6. Detail
    7. 7. Found Objects and Sewing patterns
    8. 8. Mixed Media/Collage
    9. 9. Mixed Media/Collage
    10. 10. Mixed Media/Collage
    11. 11. Mixed Media/Collage
    12. 12. Mixed Media/Collage
    13. 13. Mixed Media/Collage
    14. 14. Mixed Media/Installation
    15. 15. Mixed Media/Installation
    16. 16. Mixed Media/Found Objects
    17. 17. Mixed Media/Found Objects