Sarofim School of Fine Arts

Rachel Sellars

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2012 B.F.A. with a focus in Painting

“Contained in Cloth” is comprised of two series of paintings, a cloth series and a rock series that are carefully detailed representational paintings based on physical objects. By painting both series with such careful marks and detail, I express my love of the medium and of the beauty I find in what could be considered ordinary “mundane” objects. 

For the cloth series, I compose still lives from fabric in such a way that it seems as though something should be held or cradled within. By intentionally leaving the cloth empty, I set up a paradox exploring the contrast between our expectations or longings and what we actually see. I am interested in what it means to create a painting that is concurrently filled and empty. Through these paintings, I consider and share with others an interpretation of emptiness and how we pre-fill things with our expectations.

For the rock series, although I keep to a representational style I question whether a painting can be both representational and abstract at once, by magnifying and cropping the polished rocks I use as my subject. This is done to a degree that nearly obscures or completely obscures the identity of the subject. By having the paintings be something that looks abstract while still being representational, I seek to question the boundaries that are created by having defined notions about the lines between representational and abstract art instead of seeing all the possibilities when you let ideas shift, expand and change. 

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