Rachel Kneebone | the artist

The artist Rachel Kneebone
Born 1973, Oxfordshire, England.
Lives and works in London.

Style and technique of the artist: Sculpture Objects, Sydney Biennale,

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Rachel Kneebone
Inspired by Ovid’s great poem ‘Metamorphosis’ where humans migrate into a myriad of forms, Kneebone depicts an erotic state of flux, suspended mid-transition, divulging part figurative and fragmentary motifs. Kneebone’s eclectic vision relishes in the angst of both Greek tragedies and Bernini, the hybrid creatures of Bosch, and the ‘erotic gaze’ of Batialle and Bellmer. A more direct comparison is with the eighteenth century Meissen porcelain tableaux, some of which were copied from idyllic pastoral paintings and odalisques by Watteau and Boucher. Yet Kneebone manages to decant all these influences into her own highly distinct rhetoric, celebrating forms of transgression, beauty and seduction…

Rachel Kneebone
Working solely in porcelain, Kneebone produces large scale yet delicately crafted figurative scenes drawn from ancient Greek and Roman myths in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and other classical cycles.
Hybrid male and female figures are either emerging from or being consumed by plant-like tendrils, creating a writhing sprawl of contorted bodies and organic matter. Erotic yet sensual, flamboyant yet discreet; there is an inherent ambivalence in these works that delights us and continues to hold our attention. A dark and brooding sense of death and putrefaction hovers over these Bacchanalian dances, frozen as they are in this seductive and lustrous material…

Rachel Kneebone
The impressive design of the building, however, does not detract one’s attention from the work inside, which is that of young artist Rachel Kneebone. Her carefully crafted sculptures witness various organic forms merging ambiguously into human body-parts as they climb elegantly up walls. Suggestive yet sensitive, her creations harp back to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, whilst their fixed immobility implies a transgression of time and motion. It is inspiring how the combination of art, architecture and curation emanates fluidly throughout…

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