Rachel Sylvan


Residency: Aspirus 11

19 May – 30 June 2014

The work of Rachel Sylvan (USA) is concerned with how an environment affects our subconscious. The different approaches to media, communications, and advertising techniques shape our sense of identity, our behaviours, and our lifestyle choices. With a constant presence of this external stimulus, it is difficult to identify what changes our subconscious has made in our lives. Sylvan analyses her own subconscious through the use of stream of consciousness writing; image associations made in response to the writing create the composition to her artwork. Not only does this process create insight for research and artwork, but it also creates a sense of balance and self-awareness in daily life.

By immersing herself into another culture, Sylvan can create a comparison with her own culture, while recording the changes her subconscious internalizes in a new environment. Her artwork takes on an illustrative quality similar to childhood storybooks in hope of resembling an external message being internalized in its most basic form.

Working in a new environment can give us insight to why we hold on to certain ideas as personal truths, and why our behaviour alters in each environment. Her Art Funkl Residency has allowed Sylvan to continue her art in response to her research. In addition to pushing her research to a new level, she aimed to allow the location of the residency to inform the style of her artwork: the external messages and media sources of a new culture bring a new dynamic to consider while composing the work.



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