Despite being an avid quilter for 20 years, Timaru-based artist Rachel Ratten is more widely known as a painter and printmaker. Since completing her MFA in painting at the University of Canterbury in 2015, however, quilting has at long last been introduced to Ratten’s expanding practice.
In her new exhibition The Construction of Colour, Ratten lets her textiles take over, creating works that are fluid and painterly using a technique she calls ‘improv quilting’. In these textiles, she discards the narratives of her previous work in favour of exploring formal design and compositional elements.
Interested in the division between ‘fine art’ and ‘craft’, Ratten hopes to affirm the place of textiles within the gallery setting through this exhibition.
Image | Rachel Ratten, The Construction of Colour #18, 2022, commercial and hand-dyed cotton fabric