Cocoons is a collection of work by Rachel Mackay. A series of eight large-scale paintings explore the intimate space of the body and its movement through a synthesis of painting and performance.
The name of the collection refers to the way the artist uses her body to construct the work around her. The artist’s repetitive motions create outlines of the body on the canvas, leaving behind a record of passing states.
Inspired by Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space, the artist explores the concept of ‘intimate immensity’ through the body. An awareness of inner space, as well as physical movement, is explored. A continual contraction and expansion of the body becomes a moving meditation that flows into the work.
Rachel uses sound and music as a stimulus for her movements, documenting the creation of the works using film and photography. “The painting itself is the performance frozen in time – a permanent representation of the expression and vulnerability experienced during the making of the work.”
The Cocoons collection is available exclusively through The Gallerist.
Rachel Mackay (b. 1988, London) is a Sydney-based artist whose work explores the relationship between the body and its environment. Working in a variety of scales and mediums, her works incorporate painting, performance, photography and video.
Rachel’s work is heavily process-driven and, although primarily visual in nature, is largely informed by ideas from phenomenological and philosophical literature. She is interested in both the physical and psychological body, and the types of experiences that it contains.
Having worked across Copenhagen, Melbourne and Sydney for the last ten years, Rachel’s career as a designer in film and architecture has had a significant influence on her art practice. Through this, she has developed a deep interest in the connections between the body, the psyche and one’s surrounding environment. It is through art making that she has found a way to explore theoretical ideas with a more personal and expressive approach.
Rachel's debut solo exhibition Currents was held in November 2021 at Ninety Three Bourke gallery in Woolloomooloo, Sydney. Following this, she received representation from The Gallerist. Her second body of work, Cocoons, was launched in May 2022.