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Rachel’s living in colour

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Rachel Perry is interested in the beauty of the everyday; she found that in abundance while working on Colour Copies: Bermuda.

She's sharing her unconventional perspective of the island in an exhibit at Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art.

“I travelled around the island for 16 days in search of gorgeous colour — not in short supply in Bermuda,” said Ms Perry, who was artist in residence at the Paget gallery last April.

She carried “a complete set of 314 Colour-aid papers” as she made her way around Bermuda.

The postcard-sized swatches — a common tool for architects, artists and designers — were used to compare and contrast colour in the scene she was photographing.

“I attempted to place a colour in a context and match it to the environment by holding a chip with one hand against a painted or natural surface,” she said. “With my other hand I held the camera and pushed the shutter. My thumb and wrist always appear in the frame.”

Ms Perry's work has been shown around the world and featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Vogue.

In a series of large-scale images from her 2010 solo show, Lost In My Life, she photographed herself hidden within everyday objects: receipts, twist ties, price tags and even her son's Playmobil collection.

She created something similar for a Vogue photo essay, disappearing within designer clothing and fabric.

“Much of my work has me in it, as a sort of self-portrait,” the Boston-based artist said. “But you will notice that you never actually see all of me, or much of me in fact.

“This is a way of inserting my presence in the work but not having my identity overtake the idea and the visual. I'm interested in how we use our cameras, and particularly the selfie, as a way to experience our lives. We mediate almost every moment.

“Growing up, my mother worked with Edwin Land of Polaroid, mostly on developing theories of colour vision.

“She tested film constantly, and the camera was ever-present in our lives, recording my siblings and me incessantly. Privacy, identity, communication, narcissism, voyeurism, authority, and accumulation are all themes you'll see in my work.”

Colour Copies offered a new way for her, and people viewing her work, to see colour. She hopes to continue the project with future work

“I hope the viewer will come from looking at this work and notice colour in the landscape, colour in the grocery store, colour in the backyard. And perhaps, as a result, think about that differently.

“This project fits right in with some investigations I've made in the past and am making today.

“I think I'm drawing attention to the fleeting nature of experience and the elusiveness of desire — whether from a consumer angle or more poetic place. Colour and beauty are strategies to get the viewer to look at my ideas.”

For her 2014 project, Chiral Drawings, she gathered all her writing implements and drew lines. Each was used only once; the idea was to create mirror images using both hands.

The result: colourful and hypnotic pieces that resemble seismic charts. “Drawing is an integral part of my project,” Ms Perry said. “I work in many different media, often with available, common, inexpensive or forgotten materials.

“I try to do the most I can with the least amount of material.”

For more, visit www.rachelperrystudio.com

Blocked: Water Near Bridge at Sandys, one of the pieces in Rachel Perry's exhibit opening at Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art on Friday (Photograph by Rachel Perry)
Rachel Perry
Rachel Perry (Photograph supplied)

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Published January 29, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated January 29, 2018 at 7:20 am)

Rachel’s living in colour

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