Class of 2023 • Print

Rachel Kenny

Rachel Kenny
National College of Art and Design (NCAD)


Graduation Year
Class of 2023


I am a Dublin-based multi-disciplinary artist with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Art Print from the National College of Art and Design. Having previously studied Philosophy, Sociology and Drama at University College Dublin - subjects which continue to inform my work greatly - my work contemplates a return to the natural world through the lens of a post-pandemic society. I was granted the Graduate Award (2023) from Graphic Studio Dublin and I am a member of A4 Sounds Artists Studios & Gallery, Dublin. I am currently in residence at KuBa: Kulturbahnhof, located in Klein, Warnow, Germany. The cultural significance of a global pandemic on our interconnected consciousness has consequently led to a rapid increase in contemporary modes of toxic productivity. My work is an observation and resistance of this post-pandemic society. Through the ancient and meditative process of paper-making, I attempt to re-enter the slower pace of life in restrictive lockdown days by building upon an introspection with nature. Nature is consistent in its unpredictability and we as humans have adapted to that with awareness and neutrality. I am interested in submitting to nature, allowing it to guide me and watching it unfold in my work, mirroring the idealistic state of Nirvana. Our reliance on the sun dates back to the beginning of time, for time and the sun are inextricably linked. As we evolved, efficiency of time marked the beginning of the conditioned regime - and yet it is a structure that is assuredly shaping us to be more like machines than human beings. The sun has enabled us to define this routinely existence. I utilise the sun-reliant process of cyanotype as a means to maintain an organic evolution within the work. As different seasons display different colours, my work blooms in the same way. I incorporate copper plate etchings that permit the work to continue with patterns of a repetitive nature. Inspired by bodies of water, these etchings are visual musings, displaying the ebb and flow of the natural world. The notion of ritualism is imperative. From this, typed text is added using an old typewriter. However, most of these elements remain hidden from the viewer. The work aims to distance itself from the modern 21st century world though intentionally collides with it through the use of video and sound. Acting as visual and aural aids towards a reflective commentary, their presence is necessary to intertwine these elements, demanding presence from the viewer. It speaks to a possible future, where these two realities coexist; our ever-growing technological world and our intrinsic, instinctual affinity with the earth.
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