Degree Show

A glimpse of the exhibition of my final work at DJCAD.  I was eager to make my portion of the studio an inclusive space and allow the pieces to compliment each other. The gallery aesthetic and context are crucial in my practice and so the final presentation takes a lot of time and effort.


Sweet Diatribes

324 papers on large glass, and constructed display 




Shirt Pattern (detail)

Repeated type on 4 metre tracing paper scroll




Tangible (almost)

A Wall Collective




January Luxated

Nail varnish on large gridded glass, and constructed display




Let There Be

Fishing tackle box, broken bulb and used foil





Remains of DJCAD Degree Show 2012

All that Glistens

Bronze cast of 1970’s collected baking tray

Obsessive Sentimentality: Refined

IMG_8370My work for DJCAD’s Degree Show this year is now officially installed and presented. And I feel numb. So I have little to say on the matter at the moment.

Other than a huge thank you to my friends, family and tutors for all their help and support. Special mention to ‘Mother Harriette’ for her patience and helping hand this past week.

Here’s something I prepared earlier, some accompaniments to my show.





We do not cling to the past. The past is a by-product of a reluctance to let go of the present. We build collections to record a spectacular presence. All but the cataloguing is lost. Objects become something different: an image of recollection. They have shed their intended usefulness and now serve to be viewed and maintained. Rachael Disbury’s work surrounds this notion. The artist creates entirely new objects through a change of context and purpose.

Assemblage and installation based, the work is contemporary in palette and form, straying away from the ‘kitsch’ often associated with hoarded collections. Typed text is combined with gathered objects and constructed displays. The use of recognised items allows the viewer to look at the familiar, in an unfamiliar way.

The artist’s current research addresses the question ‘What Makes an Object an Artwork?’. The answer is multi-layered; the intention of the artist, the perception of the viewer and the curation providing context. Rachael Disbury’s practice is based on a belief that these components go ‘hand in hand’ in the experience of an artwork. Perception, purpose and placement are key factors in the resulting interaction.



Dear Lynda

Last week was not heavily productive in terms of studio practice. But my work is so multi-layered now, I feel like I’m doing everything! I was kept busy with interAction(s), planning my degree show space and the open install of Dear Lynda, an exhibition being held in the Cooper Gallery with its opening this Friday past.


Dear Lynda is a collection of memorabilia from a contemporary art legend. Lynda Morris’s career as curator spans 45 years, this show gives tribute to her tireless efforts to move the art scene away from being purely London based, and make it more accessible for the people. She shows a wide and varied collection of remnants and publications illustrating a colourful career in the art world.


Lynda Morris also conducted a series of ‘in conversation’ events to accompany the open install and run up to the opening of Dear Lynda. I was able to attend a talk between Lynda and Graham Fagan, a well respected tutor here at DJCAD. The two chatted like old friends about Graham’s art school days and being picked up by Lynda’s EAST International project. It proved to be an enjoyable afternoon, and an educational week overall in terms of curation.

lyndaI found it particularly beneficial to work alongside Sophia Hao, curator of the Cooper Gallery. While hanging a collection of Lynda’s work it was interesting to hear Sophia’s opinions on how the gallery should be set out. I was given tasks such as hanging publications, labelling works before the opening of the show, arranging vitrines of documents and making Lynda Morris a pot of green tea.

Now that its a new week I’m left to my own stuff however, which I’m grateful for. It’s been nice to keep my activities varied but its time to get immersed in Degree Show work. Eight weeks to go or something crazy like that…


Relics Destall

Today, Viv and I gave a talk to a group of curators visiting from South East Asia, hosted by the British Council.



We introduced our Relics of Attachment project and discussed the opportunities the curatorial team has provided us. It was interesting to talk with the group and compare art schools and curatorial programmes.

Talking about art and projects has become a lot easier than it used to be. Perhaps I’m starting to know what I’m talking about.

After the talk, we took down Relics of Attachment. The show is no more. But I’m so very proud of all we achieved with the project.

20 Bananas Laid to Rest




The end of the banana project, and my submission into Relics of Attachment Part II.

“20 Bananas Put To Rest

Rachael Disbury’s work surrounds the themes of obsessive sentimentality. The artist has spent four months trying to preserve a banana peel. This piece shows the end of the project. It is up to the viewer if the artist was successful in her attempt. “


Memories I No Longer Need – A Conversation Between Jonathon Baxter & Pete Kinnear

I met Jonathan Baxter a few weeks ago during his ‘Post-Mortem’ residency at Generator. I cannot begin to describe the exhibition space he inhabited. A collectors haven, would be a start. A life size archive of… well as far as I could see, everything. Including the nothings we often disregard. There were boxes of broken eggshells and drawers of used packaging, assemblages of bone parts and discarded tea bags. I found it fascinating.

Jonathan and I got talking and while rummaging through his space we came across a box the artist had acquired some years ago. Jonathan passed this box onto me and so it was that ‘Memories I No Longer Need’ came to be an artwork included in the current exhibition I am curating, ‘Relics of Attachment Part II’.


This chance meeting led to another string to the Relics bow. Jonathan and I arranged for Pete Kinnear and himself to conduct a discussion to accompany the exhibition.

This took the form of a conversation and unpacking of the box between Jonathon Baxter and the original owner of the box and its contents,
talk3Pete Kinnear.

The title the box was given when it became an artwork was ‘Memories I No Longer Need’ with the description attached, “an exchange of archives from Pete Kinnear to Jonathan Baxter, from Jonathan Baxter to Rachael Disbury, from Rachael Disbury to Relics of Attachment.”

The conversation was attended by 23 artists. It became a very animated hour or so. A particularly fond moment involved Pete unpacking a ball of twine from the box. Jonathan attached this to his coffee mug and threw it into the audience. Within 5 minutes the entire audience was intertwined.


Huge thanks are due to Jonathan and Pete for providing a very enjoyable afternoon. I am very proud of all the time and energy invested in the Relics of Attachment project.


Relics of Attachment Part II Preview

Thursday evening saw the opening of Relics Of Attachment Part II. Yes, it was Valentines Day, and oh how romantic it was. We couldn’t have asked for a better turn out. The event was a huge success and we are very grateful to the 28 artists that took part and everyone else that was involved in this project.relics7

Cooper Gallery Project Space

      relics21        relics6     relicsagain


The preview ran from 5 til 7 and was heavily attended. We have received very positive feedback about the exhibition which runs until the 2nd of March.

       relics12     relics19     relics10


Our friends and fellow artists have been a great help in this process. Harriette baked brownies for the occasion, and a group of my old friends made a surprise appearance. The middle image below shows Liam Dunn performing a reading from his ‘Fuckist Manifesto’, which was also a great success and brought another dimension to the evening.

        relics5    relics2    relics1


We were able to exhibit a wide selection of work in varying mediums. A lot of work went into this project, from the small details of what wine to serve to the larger tasks of making the accompanying publication. The five of us on the Relics team have had a hectic few months.

        relics3     relics15   relics11


 Perhaps we can sleep now… oh wait, there’s that Degree Show thing coming up…



Relics of Attachment Part II

Today has been BUSY. Capital letters and everything. I’ve been working on a couple different pieces for various exhibitions. Tomorrow and Friday I hope to finish my piece for Relics of Attachment Part II. Here’s a sneak peak at the poster.


part II poster


Come along, drink some wine, even look at some art.


Opening Night

‘Relics of Attachment Part I’ is an exhibition I’ve been organising with some fellow Student Curatorial Team members. It features a collection of artwork inspired by the concept of nostalgia and sentimental objects.

Tonight was the introduction to this project. There was a lot of footfall, a lot of interest, and generally a good feeling all round.

Take a look at our work.

Relics of attachment


A – Lucas Battich, Amsterdam Lelylaan Schiphol // Edinburgh Glasgow   

pmsrelics numbers

B – Lisa Gordon, Promises Light

C – Vivienne Russell, Five Seasons       

D – Cathy O’Brien, Empty Packages

E – Rachael Disbury, Everything I know about him


This project took a lot of time and planning but I feel our work is paying off. I love the buzz of all this organising. Curating ain’t so bad.


     pmsrelics4   Installation


Audience Opening Night


Our Team
We’re hosting a meeting tomorrow to encourage other artists to submit work for Part II of this project. The 14th of February should see a larger exhibition presented in the Cooper Gallery. So there’s really no time to relax for us!