Rachel Morrison (she/her)
Mass produced stickers, temporary tattoos, tacky glitter glue, paper, and pen are some materials that I can’t get enough of.
I live and work in Glasgow where I am often in and out of craft stores, Poundlands, and shops which have a bit of everything.
With my eyes wide open I am susceptible to picking up cute animal stickers, patterned napkins, and sparkly craft paper-nice thing which I could maybe use later. These shops are not only places for materials to be bought, but also provide visual cues for display objects. Shopping for materials in my arts practice merges into a collecting habit similar to a ‘save it for a rainy day’ mentality, as these things make their with way to the studio with potential to be art.
My studio practice is that of layering these various materials together: on top of each other, suspended above head height, slumped, gathered in groups in the corner becoming a mass of visual information.
At first glance my work might be read as ‘cute’ and ‘nice’, but looking past the visual overload of symbols, characters, patterns and colours, the work is evidence of exploration into how we group things and why we are attracted to objects.
‘A Place For Things To Gather’ Degree Show
Accompanying the Degree Show works are some texts which contains stories about the artists:
“When Rachel was 3 years old her sister, Eilidh, was 5 years old. They loved to play in their bedroom making dens on their bunkbeds and dressing up with their granny’s silk scarves. One afternoon whilst they were playing, I heard Rachel’s big sister cry. When I went up to check on them, I found Rachel on top of Eilidh on top of the bunk of the bed. Poor Eilidh had bite marks on her face and Rachel was continuing to bite her. Rachel had never bitten before, and I think hearing Eilidh cry out after the initial bite had caused Rachel to be frightened and she continued to bite. After lots of tears and cuddles both girls were fine and friends again.”
Sarah Jane Morrison
“Rachel’s 2nd Birthday was a family party in the garden, surrounded by everyone who adored her. Rachel looked so sweet in her baby pink romper, with blonde curls and her cute glasses. The highlight was supposed to be everyone gathered in the sunshine singing Happy Birthday as her cake was brought out. Rachel had other plans! As soon as we walked over with the cake she went in a pure huff, crossed her arms, turned around and walked to the furthest part of the garden. She’s always hated everyone making a fuss.”
Framed A4 Paper Works
A4 Works On Paper
My practice so far has involved an accumulation of various material surfaces to work into and top of, such as fabric and napkins.
However one material I consistently come back to is paper due to it’s flatness and versatility. A solid, clean, familiar surface helps remove any hesitation when creating something new. After all its paper, i can always grab another piece.
Glittery textures, floral prints, bright and pastel colours, endless starting points and outcomes that a piece of paper offers. I played around with some A3 or A6 sizes but A4 was always the winner, coming down to the practicality of printing images onto the paper through my little printer at home. It was also cheaper and also more fun to collect a bunch of smaller stacks of paper, building a collection of decorated surfaces.
My love of paper grows as I print a digital background effect i drew on my IPad, onto a sparkly piece of glitter paper. Drawing some pictures with pen, adding stickers,or temporary tattoos, or everything, on top.
These A4 paper works are a documentation of how I make work, dependent on what I made last, or if picked up some new colours of glitter paper that day, or what stickers happened to catch my eyes in the studio that day.
A3 Works On Paper
Additionally to working on A4 paper I also worked into A3 paper.
Offering some limitations in terms of printing onto using a small easyJet printer aswell as limited styles-glitter paper, sticker paper etc– The A3 works feel different to the A4 pieces.
For me these works feel closer to more “traditional” drawings/paintings you would expect from a Painting & Printmaking student. Perhaps it’s due to the slight increase in scale, reminding me that it is often believed that “bigger is better” when it comes to making art.
A lot of times I considered the distance between myself, my art and how it is viewed.
To explore the idea of distance as-well as surfaces, intimacy and play, I offered temporary tattoos as part of a performance piece.
Set up inside the Glasgow School of Arts Stow College, I layout an assortment of temporary tattoos that I collected and gathered over a period of a few months. I spoke with visitors as they selected their tattoos from the piles on the table, then I applied them onto their hands, arms or even faces.
It was a positive experience feeling connected with visitors as we laughed about the novelty of getting walking around with an image of a mermaid or a football, while also enjoying the childish and intimate nature of getting a temporary tattoo.
Here you can see some images of some of the finished applicator tattoos, alongside some which have been printed onto various types of paper such a glitter and floral.
Throughout my practice i created a collection bows using a variety of fabric which I then decorated with my usual rotation of materials such as temporary tattoos, and stickers.
These bow pieces are a crucial part of my practice as they were a springboard for me to begin creating and thinking in the expanded field of painting and drawing.