Artist's Statement

A modern-day play on the cabinet of curiosities, the works aim to unite or highlight subjects of significance from the human made and natural world to tell stories of our time, our past and our future.

Three themes

Mortalitus - The skeleton represents all of humankind. It is not defined by age, skin colour, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or religion. It invites you to consider who it is, to step into its existence. Is it the cure or the ailment? For me it is a symbol of unity and empathy.

Vanitas – The still life represents objects of humankind's pioneering nature – its unquenchable desire and drive for discovery, study, possession, empowerment and consumption.

Naturalias Mundi – Botanical and animal references represent the beauty and fragility of the natural kingdom. They feel the affect and weight of humankind's impact.

Rachael Gartland

Artistic process

Like the shelves of a cabinet of curiosities, the silk upon which these objects are painted, is the thread which binds them together. The silk foundation is a leading protagonist to this artistic process. Having worked with silk for 2 decades the artist holds great respect for its historical journey, processes and the people who have allowed her the privilege of working with it.

The natural reflection of light gives the silk a sense of movement, a depth of field. As layered washes and feathery dashes of gouache upon it suck in the light, its softly shimmering negative space holds the object in reverence. Void of surrounding noise, allowing the audience to connect and place the object within their own history.