October 01, 2022

For the residency Partition Parables at Artcore, visual artist Rachel Magdeburg will be exploring the lingering rift in contemporary Western society between nature and culture, which is arguably responsible for the exploitation of the natural world, compounding exceptionalism that sets humans apart. This partition will act as the starting point for a new series of paintings exploring camouflage, mimicry, hybridity and the relation to backgrounds.

Rachel will draw upon crypsis in the natural world that is appropriated by cultural and military artefacts, and artists. Adaptions made by living organisms that use warning (aposematism) and disruptive colouration; protective, aggressive and variable resemblance; and the relation to surroundings through blending and using props, finds equivalences in painting through visual deception, figure-ground correspondence, optical illusion, counter-shading, and painted forms that mimic those in the ‘real’ world. Rachel will experiment with shape, colour, disguise, shadow, dissolving and composite forms using high-pigment and chromakey paint on canvas to depict objects that blur, jar and reconfirm ‘man-made’ and ‘natural’ categories. Objects in the vicinity to Artcore will provide the initial inspiration, such as the Death’s-head hawkmoth in Derby Museum & Art Gallery, alongside imagery, imagination, intuition and painting processes.