Rachel Duckhouse

Terraced Nacre i, 2016


62 x 62 cm (framed)

Edition of 5

  • Rachel’s work is in major collections including The British Museum, London
  • Solo exhibitions include: MacRobert Art Centre, Stirling and Hunterian Museum, Glasgow
  • Group exhibitions include: ‘Pushing Paper: Contemporary Drawing 1970 to now’, British Museum and touring; New acquisitions, British Museum, London; Objectspace, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Selected for Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize

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. Consequently, 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). Both similarly share a concern with the underlying patterns and structures of life, and how they fit together. Together they therefore took this concept of chaos and order within aesthetic, topographical and biochemical patterning as their starting point. The project then 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 organic print 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.’