Art Spotlight: Rachel Singel

Art Spotlight: Rachel Singel

Seed Explosion

See Rachel Singel’s work in WTP Vol. VI #4

A black and white print of a flower and seeds on homemade paper
Seed Explosion by Rachel Singel

intaglio on handmade
mitsumata paper
16’’ x 20’’

My imagery comes from what I see in nature. From a hollow in a tree to a break in the clouds, absence is a recurring motif. These spaces intrigue me, and I begin to wonder where they might lead. The work is my response to the intricacies and depth of natural forms. I seek to observe the processes of nature and embody them in my own works of art.

Lines are the building block of my world. The printmaking process allows for a technical consideration of how these lines are distributed throughout the work, with the weight of each line relating directly to how much time it etches. Their physical qualities carry weight; they do not descend into the paper but protrude from the surface.

Lines develop into curves, from curves to semi-circles, and from semi-circles to the full circle. This stylistic tendency comes from my interest in openings in nature—those places around which nature’s complex forms develop. Close studies of natural objects reveal holes in their surfaces. The space is a source of weight—a fulcrum point that seizes my attention by giving the illusion of an even deeper space, seeming to recede to infinity. The lines radiate out from these seeming voids—the starting points for infinite variation within the work. As each line extends outward, the form begins to resemble how it occurs in nature: subject to the elements around it. This may be a vine changing direction because of other competing growth, a tree trunk consuming a barbed wire fence, or even the clay that once made up a riverbank eroding away during a flood. Ultimately, my work is about discovering, then understanding, and finally expressing an attitude toward nature.” —Rachel Singel

Rachel Singel is an assistant professor at the University of Louisville. Rachel grew up on a small farm in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received her MFA in Printmaking from the University Iowa in 2013, and has participated in residencies at the Penland School of Crafts, the Venice Printmaking Studio, and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica.

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