is an investigation of the estate sales of New England documenting the
objects and domestic spaces that remain after someone dies.
becomes a collection of environmental portraits that tell a story about
individual lives, families, and an entire generation, which is quickly
evaporating. Details of ones life are laid out and exposed, allowing for
the examination of the physical relics of someone’s life. This work
examines these domestic spaces that have been very clearly shaped by
women, creating portraits of them and examining the cultural nuances to
which they subscribed, as well as comparing them to our own schema
today. This can be seen in the pieces of cosmetics remaining on a
dressing table and the ornamentation of a house; even the choice of
wallpaper reflects such subtleties.
but curious – well-worn surfaces, upholstery faded from decades of sun.
Illumination plays a key role in the work, aesthetically adding life
back into a space that is now defined by death. What remains becomes
still life as anthropology; these homes become a part of both art and
social science. The miniature as the grand and the grand as the
miniature, like museum dioramas tell us of an ancient past, these still
lives speak to us of the recent past allowing us to create our own
dialogue with this time gone by.
In Back In The Valley,
Rachel returns to her parents home in a series of portraits of her
parents and their home in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. This
project is linked to her landscape work of the same region, Views From The Happy Valley,
which depicts landscapes of the agricultural land that surrounded her
In this ongoing project Rachel confronts viewers exceptions of family construct in showing her middle-aged lesbian parents in their home revealing the banality of their every day lives. By pairing landscapes with portraits Rachel shows her deep connection to the valley in that she includes these non-domestic spaces in her schema of home.