The Skinny Showcase: Rachel Levine

Gallery | 01 Apr 2014

The Skinny Showcase: Rachel Levine

Through my work I explore how power structures and ‘empirical’ versions of history affect our readings of objects, artefacts, architecture and the built environment. My practice is informed by processes of sculptural production and fabrication. Like layers of history I layer processes and materials, such as casting multiples in augmented forms, and using ‘inappropriate,’ unsuspecting materials and contrasting real and faux elements. In doing so I want to bring into question our assumptions of the history, structure and integrity of the objects we view and consume. Working predominantly in sculptural installations and assemblage I use objects and materials as signifiers to create abstracted but narrative environments, tensioning different materials and forms through placement and arrangement of the objects. 

The material properties, both physically and conceptually, of the objects and matter I work with are the foundations of my process. I like to play with inverting materials thus subverting their ‘usefulness’ or ‘value.’ To create something that looks solid and real, such as a marble plinth out of plywood, laminate and trompe l'oeil painting or taking away the core use of an object by casting concrete reinforcement bar in silicone rubber. I am interested in the political and cultural charges present within materials, the deeper meaning and significance that is present within them. Even certain types of stone, building material or functional objects cannot escape the cultural and political implications placed upon them by society. 

Casting increasingly informs the work I make. Recently I have been interested in leaving evidence of the making process within installations, from boards of wood used for a mould, or using a mould itself as the work, to depositing the leftovers from casting processes in amongst the installation. I am interested in the visibility – or non-visibility – of the traces of labour, effort and energy in the works. The effort and process of replication that can often outweigh the original creation.[Rachel Levine]

Rachel Levine graduated from the BA in Sculpture at The Glasgow School of Art in 2013. That year she was the recipient of the Bram Stoker Medal and an Arts Trust Scotland Grant. In 2014 she received the Glasgow Visual Artist Mentoring Award and the Scottish Sculpture Workshops emerging artist residency. This year she has exhibited work at The Royal Scottish Academy as part of the RSA New Contemporaries, Dear Green at ZKU, Berlin and Vernissage at The Royal Standard, Liverpool. Levine’s first solo show took place at One Royal Terrace in Glasgow in March 2014. Levine will take part in two exhibitions, Fold Up Snap On and Hydrapagena, as part of Glasgow International Art Festival. She is the winner of The Skinny Award at this year's RSA New Contemporaries, and will be revealing her resulting solo show in CCA's Intermedia gallery in spring 2015.