contemporary art sculpture

Rachel Kneebone’s porcelain philosophy

Sometimes the works of art contain an elegant simplicity alongside with the most profound depth. Today we are going to get acquainted with the case just like that. Rachel Kneebone is a British artist that works primarily with sculpture and uses porcelain as her main material. Let’s take a look at Kneebone’s works.

Instantly, we can see some parallels and references. The connection with classical sculpture is obvious, especially with Auguste Rodin.

And that’s not the only one inspiration from the past for Rachel Kneebone. She has been inspired by Ovid’s Latin narrative poem the Metamorphosis. Though it does not have a main character and is very generous on the topics, yet this epic has some unifying theme and a feeble semblance of a Hero.

Transformation is one of its main subjects, and the reoccurring character is Amor, the god of love. The poem has an incredible amount of metamorphoses varying on the form they take. The process often include violence, sexual nature, humor and different references on such topics as the relations between hunter and the haunted, etc. Why is this important? Because we can detect the main themes of Rachel Kneebone’s art here which are death, love, sin, and the physical aspects of being. She talks about a body and its transformation, relations between corporeal and spiritual.

It is essential to say that Kneebone’s oeuvre includes diverse confrontation of the opposites. Her works seem familiar, yet look like something extraterrestrial; they seem light and heavy at the same time (notice the cracked base as the weight of the things happening above is too much to handle); they are soaked in history and traditions, while looking very modern.
Another interesting quality of the sculptures is their fleeting nature mostly due to the essence of the topics touched upon. Her works are something our subconscious would do if we’ll mix together love and sin with a dash of renaissance. Except they are made by a very much conscious artist.

Observing Kneebone’s sculptures makes a special experience.The picture of all possible fleshly inflected transformations with human being is unfolding before our eyes. The perception of her art balances between something intuitive, subliminal and very physical. The artists is offering the abstract answer of our subliminal minds to the questions of love and death. What do we usually think when we imagine porcelain figures? Ballet dancers, figures of children playing etc. But here everything is different. Rachel Kneebone managed to create very complex works of art with a very deep meaning behind them, that cannot be presented as a certain answer, but as a field for reflection on these eternal questions. And the works we are facing are, indeed, perplexing and magnifying in their chaotic, erotic, and philosophical beauty.

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