In keeping with the following excerpt from Wayne Koestanbaum’s 'Humiliation', Jones’ drawings act as windows into inner and outer worlds, disclosing a reciprocal looking and contemplating.
" ‘Hilton Als, in his essay ‘GWTW’, included in Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, speaks candidly about the continuities he senses between lynching photographs and his own experiences of being looked at by white people. Als: ‘Of course, one big difference between the people documented in these pictures and me is that I am not dead, have not been lynched or scalded or burned or whipped or stoned. But I have been looked at, watched, and it’s the experience of being watched, and seeing the harm in people’s eyes - that is the prelude to becoming a dead nigger like those seen here, that has made me understand, finally, what the word ‘nigger’ means, and why people have used it, and the way I use it here, now: as a metaphorical lynching before the real one.’ "
Jones’ work aims to foreground the complexities at the centre of society’s reading of the black body – how it is understood, how it is culturally reproduced, and the role of these representations in reinforcing existing power structures and systems. Interested in using colour and form to develop a visual language as a substitute for words, Rachel's drawings narrate a personal journey in an attempt to grasp what an identity might be made of.
Rachel Jones (b.1991; Whitechapel, London UK). Currently studying an MA Fine Art at Royal Academy Schools. Previously studied BA Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art. In 2019 Rachel will participate in a residency at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa Texas. Her work has been exhibited in the UK at various institutions including the Royal Scottish Academy and The Fleming Collection. She was artist in residence at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art in 2016.