The UConn Stamford Art Gallery was pleased to present …
“A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND PICTURES” by RACHEL BURGESS
Exhibit: May 31 – July 15.
Rachel’s work is about memory. She grew up in New England and most of her pieces are inspired by aspects of the landscape that stood out to her as a child. Rachel is interested in the discrepancy between what we experience and how we remember it; the way we take a specific moment and turn it into an abstract memory. Her landscapes depict places, as they exist in her mind’s eye, as a collection of key colors, or a memorable silhouette. She aims to capture an essence or mood, rather than a detailed rendering.
To create an image, she first sketch on location. Then she creates a monotype based on her drawing. Monotype is a form of printmaking that yields just one image (as opposed to other techniques that allow you to produce an image repeatedly). To make a monotype, she must paint the reverse image directly on a plate and then use a printing press to transfer the medium onto paper, creating a one-off impression. This process mirrors her interest in memory, as her initial “painting” on the plate is lost but a unique work on paper is created.
The way we remember things is changing. As we rely more on digital pictures, selfies, and videos, our ability to create genuine – albeit abstracted – memories will surely be impacted. As she works, she wonders how this will affect our personal memory bank: the stories we tell about ourselves. What will it mean to reflect and recollect when our lives are an endless trove of data? Can we continue absorbing places organically and fold them into ourselves, or will it be enough to post quick pictures online as de facto “experiences”? Do these snapshots augment or replace our memories? How much of our genuine identity is lost as we allow thousands of digital posts to authenticate our lives?
About the artist – Rachel Burgess lives and works in New York City. She received a B.A. in Literature from Yale University, where she researched traditional British ballads, whose themes of repetition and continuity continue to influence her work. After graduating, Rachel moved to New York and merged her interests in narrative and art by pursuing an M.F.A. in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts. She began to work as a freelance illustrator and fine artist, drawing on her New England roots and her love of literature for inspiration.
Her work exhibits nationally and internationally in numerous galleries and museums, such as the International Print Center of New York (NY), Monmouth Museum (NJ), the Pyramida Center for Contemporary Art (Israel) and the Seoul Museum of Art (Korea). Her illustrations have featured in books and magazines, including CMYK Magazine, 3×3 Magazine of Contemporary Illustration and the Society of Illustrators Annual. Recently, she was selected as a 2014 artist for Brooklyn CSA+ D, a community supported art and design organization showcasing New York artists; she also received a 2014 artist-in-residency through the Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, ME. You can find Rachel Burgess’s art updates at http://www.rachel-burgess.com.