About the Artist

Artist Statement

 

Rachel Mello

photo credit: Christine Andrade

I find myself increasingly sensitive to the interdependence of very separate lives; to differences between us that are simultaneously superficial and profound. Raw materials, information, goods, services, and waste move around the world in a constant flow, and through this inescapable global exchange we come to understand that there is also a critical importance in the local, the community, and the personal.

Through my cut-silhouette grounds and their painted surface imagery, I’m working on pulling these personal landscapes out to the surface and making connections.  Nothing I make can be grasped in a single glance. There’s no quick, “ah-ha!” but rather a slow seeping in of  layers and connections.

I’m interested, too, in rooting the act of looking into the present by incorporating the shadows cast on the gallery wall into the piece being viewed.

I re-examine the same imagery through printmaking and collage as well, expressing and exploring cityscapes through new vantage points, tangible or emotional, that the various media offer.  I hand-cut and painstakingly reassemble my wood-block prints into collages using patterns I design based on wallpapers, architectural details, and ornament that connect us with our social history.  The layers in my work remind me of the slow, layered evolution that I love so much in old cities.

While I have a deep love for nature, my home has always been in the city. I am deeply touched by communities of people, by the choices we make to find ways of living with and near strangers, and how we connect to and separate ourselves from our neighbors, the natural world, and ourselves.

 

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