Nicola Rae


My work is about materials and memory, preservation and transformation, death and decay - and delight in the diversity of life.

I work with collected fragments: paper, textiles, photographs and natural materials, to produce work with a narrative element, which fluctuates between the fictional and non-fictional. The process of change in nature and in life is reflected in the materials I use: photographs fade, leather degrades, paper cracks and crumbles.

The act of working with these objects is important, allowing me to experience both their materiality and their connection to lives past, or places altered. ‘Stories’ develop out of manipulation and juxtaposition; I am interested in the idea of a narrative which sparks recognition and recollection, but that has something ‘missing’ – something that has to be supplied by the viewer.

My work may have a sense of melancholy about it, but my intention is also to encourage the viewer to look again at the forgotten, discarded and overlooked. Through making this work, I come to realise the value of the objects, images and materials I use, which brings with it a sense of paying respect to their origins or past lives.

A member of Socket art group:
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