Rachel Duckhouse

Terraced Nacre i, 2016


62 x 62 cm (framed)

Edition of 5

The print ‘Terraced Nacre i’, 2016 is an organic work inspired by the structural layering of nacre platelets. In 2016/17 Rachel Duckhouse was Artist in Residence at the University of Glasgow’s School of Geographical and Earth Sciences. She worked with biominerals specialist Professor Maggie Cusack. They specifically started on an in-depth study of the nano-architecture of nacre (mother of pearl). Similarly, both share a concern with the underlying patterns and structures of life, and how they fit together. Together they took this concept of chaos and order within aesthetic / topographical and biochemical patterning as a starting point. The project developed for there. This print is one of a number of works that were the result of this study, with the artist depicting the layered patterns within the structure of the shell.

Above all, Rachel is always fascinated by the balance between chaos and order in the rule-based patterns within her own artwork. For instance, she draws her inspiration from EH Gombrich in ‘The Sense of Order’:

‘However we analyse the difference between the regular and the irregular, we must ultimately be able to account for the most basic fact of aesthetic experience, the fact that delight lies somewhere between boredom and confusion. If monotony makes it difficult to attend, a surfeit of novelty will overload the system and cause us to give up.’