Rachel MacmanusOn 16 January 2023 by Deej_Fabyc1
Based in Co Clare, Ireland, Rachel works through drawing and performance. Her drawing takes the form of a community based collaborative practice, which allows an ongoing exploration into the cultural and social nuances of her surroundings. Her performance practice employs endurance based tasks and repetitive action as a way to experience how it feels to be present in a space.
Rachel holds a Masters in Fine Art, Open College of the Arts (UCA) 2019 and a BA in Visual Communications, National College of Art and Design 1997
She has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally including Mart Gallery Dublin, 126 Artist Run Gallery (Galway), glór (Co Clare), Ps2 Studios (Belfast), Revision Festival (Belfast), FIX21 Catalyst Arts (Belfast), Die Kunstschaffenden Gallery, (Linz, Austria) and Musikhuset, (Gävle, Sweden).
Recent projects include RUB- a live performance for Re-Vision Festival, Belfast, and Dusk, a durational live performance on the shores of Lake Wolfgang, St Gilgen, Austria. Rachel co facilitates Creative Circles, a monthly meeting space for Co Clare based Creatives. She is a founding member of the Co. Clare based collective The Negative Space, and is currently painting a series of public art works in Co Clare under the PRISM public art scheme.
My practice has two areas of focus- drawing and performance art. Each informs the other.
My performative practice addresses themes around endurance, repetition and physicality and is influenced by my previous life as a fitness professional.
In my work I apply a methodology of using physical action as an anecdote for anxiety. I am interested in our personal relationship with our body and what we perceive ourselves to be physically capable of. More than we think we are! So, with this in mind, I use movement as a way to experience extremes, from endorphin based joy to exhaustion induced pain.
I have a phobia of wasting time- so I make lists of jobs each day to be done. This has bled into my practice, my performative actions serve as a mechanism to spend the time ‘usefully’. The idea of usefulness is rooted in social context and is also interrogated in the work.
Drawing is a way to record and communicate. It’s a democratic tool that allows me to facilitate an ongoing exploration into the environmental and social nuances of my locality. Drawing helps me make sense of the world.