Rachel Doolin


Promethean Illusions: Nests, 2015

Rachel Doolin

  • Artificial flowers, copper pins, glue, polyeurethane, wood, starling.
  • 250 x 250 x 30cm, approx.

    Materials: Artificial flowers, copper pins, glue, polyeurethane, wood, starling.


    The foundation of my practice is influenced by global issues particularly those that pertain to the environment. I am primarily interested in the complex relations between man and the natural world in an age of human influence. Modern technology, mass production and the utilitarian application of science have paved the way for a ‘new’ or ‘next’ nature. Humans are no longer passive observers of nature but through realms of genetic engineering and biotechnology have become active choreographers of nature, meaning that the very concept of nature as a comprehendible category is becoming further remote. My work examines these persistent operations of manipulating, controlling, cultivating and systemising nature. All of which appear to add to the illusion of human autonomy or superiority over nature, thus reinforcing anthropocentric attitudes by allowing for the world and its resources to be regarded in terms of their value to humans above all else.

    I work mainly in mixed media sculpture and installation, however, photography, drawing and print are also an element of my practice. I employ both artificial and natural materials; usually, it is the materiality of these objects that influence the conceptual narratives and thought-process behind the work.  I draw inspiration from existing organic structures, adding a man-made quality that is dependent on an organic form. The craftsmanship is often repetitive and meticulous; the obsessive method of construction further alluding to the compulsive acts of man in connection to his environment.

    In response to the material conditions of contemporary life I have titled this series Promethean Illusions. The works, that include plasticised organisms and biomorphic forms, examine the natural and cultural connections that are often overlooked by man, which become a metaphorical play on perceptions of ‘growth’. I draw from the multiple characteristics that are defined by the term ‘growth’, whether relating to evolution, environment, economy and production or that of a parasitic, unwanted or pestilent growth. Ultimately, through this series of investigations I aim to provoke the viewer into considering a variety of ways in which we can question our hierarchical perceptions of the human/nature relationship and the resonating impact this has on the earth.


    Email: racheldoolinartist@gmail.com
    Phone: 085 720 0242

    Images of work insitu