Free and open

Rachael Carruthers

2017 Hot Metal Artist

Cut Water

2’6” x 1’ 1” x 11’
Cast Iron

Artist Statement

I am a sculptor and performance based artist who explores how violence is used to enforce conformity and the ways in which people resist under oppressive systems.

I employ two main methods of production, processed based works and performance based works. My performative work revolves around ideas of comfort and societally enforced impulses to seek comfort in unsustainable places. I create these works by applying materials directly to my body and removing them in often painful ways. The works embody a history of repeated trauma in a way that allows me to extract myself from the pattern of violence and view it from another angle.

For my process based works I am often using rather violent means of production, deconstructing works to reconstruct them. I find this reflects the necessity of examining one’s foundational beliefs and self-perception through a lens that considers the white-supremacists-hetero-patriarchy of which we are all a part, as well as giving myself the space and physical labor to come to terms with the violence that has been done against me and those I love. I often tear up old works and reconstruct new ones from the debris, the reconstructed works resemble tectonic plates as I consider collective trauma memory and the connection between the degradation of people and degradation of the earth.

My figures are unconventionally cropped to show the way heteropatriarchal societies restrict the growth and development of people and their varied goals and interests. The incomplete figures, missing heads and appendages, represent the loss of agency one experiences from being expected to adhere to societal standards. By casting figures into metal or crafting larger than life figures I turn the commodified body into a source of strength. Size and material give the sculptures stability and their strength shows the way in which people consistently use the societal constructs wielded against them to their own favor.

Throughout these different parts of my practice I probe contemporary and historical patterns of violence, oppression, and actions of resistance and healing.

Rachael Carruthers

Born: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, 1994
Resides: Takoma Park, MD

• BA, Studio Art, University of Maryland, 2017
• BA, History, University of Maryland, 2017

Selected Exhibitions
• I’m Fine, Stamp Student Union Gallery, University of Maryland College Park, 2017
• I’m Feeling Myself, Downtown Players Club, Atlanta, GA, 2016
• Dirty Laundry, Laboratory Research Gallery, University of Maryland, College Park, 2016

Selected Awards
• Sadat Art for Peace 1st Place 2D, 2016
• Sadat Art for Peace 2nd Place 3D, 2016