About the Artwork
“Marine biologist Rachel Carson has been an inspiration for this project. There is a quote from her that I ruminate on often: when we humans ‘[can] more clearly focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.’
I call these [seven] sculptures ‘growths’ as they are composed of forms that reference organisms that recycle, regenerate, or provide nutrients in their environment. They are reminiscent of both land and water, fungi and algae. Although I typically create these forms in clay that is not fired, I find the immortality of firing and glazing these ceramic forms important for this project. The material of gold carries many associations and I am interested in juxtaposing the material permanence with forms that are so temporary and minute. What hierarchies do we place on organisms and materials in our world? What is truly valuable in our environment and what creates pollution?” –Rachel Eng
About the Artist
Rachel Eng grew up exploring the deciduous forests of Rochester, NY. Her work questions human’s perceptions of the natural world through the use of ephemeral and permanent materials including clay, plastic, paper, and found objects. Eng received her B.F.A. from the Pennsylvania State University and her M.F.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2017 she was selected as a NCECA Emerging Artist and in 2018 was awarded a grant through the Curatorial Opportunity Program at the New Art Center (Boston) to curate a group exhibition of artists questioning how our creative capacity is impacted by our environment. In 2019 was selected as a guest artist to collaborate on a permanent artwork with the Mead Art Museum and science center at Amherst College. She has been an artist in residence at NES Residency in Iceland, ArtFarm in Nebraska, Mudflat in Boston, Watershed Center for the Ceramics Arts in Maine, and most recently at Studio Kura in Itoshima, Japan. Recent solo exhibitions include: Sykes Gallery at Millersville University, Schmucker Gallery at Gettysburg College, Trout Gallery at Dickinson College and Woskob Gallery at Penn State University. Select group exhibitions include Heaven Gallery (Chicago), Little Berlin (Philadelphia), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia), and Artspace (New Haven). She currently works and lives in Carlisle PA, where she teaches in the studio art program at Dickinson College.