I was at the launch of Lets Connect Art Exhibition in the Dunanmaise Arts Centre recently and really struck by Rachel Egans work. So I asked her over to talk about her art, in particular her ACCEPTANCE TIGHTS.
Can you tell me where the inspiration came for the Acceptance Tights Rachel, what was the idea behind it?
The inspiration for the ACCEPTANCE TIGHTS came from a time when i was writing a lot of positive affirmations. One of the affirmations was inspired by Louise L Hay who wrote the book You Can Heal Your Life, she recommended the main Affirmation to say as 'i love and accept myself'. i had done some work before drawing tights and hanging them around my studio and i decided to use the word 'acceptance' to draw the tights as a feminist statement about how women do not accept themselves enough.
Initially i used a tiny ink pen to draw a drawing of the tights and the lines of the words acted like the ribbed knit of a pair of tights. Recently i decided to actually write on a pair of tights and make the work more 3d, maybe my next piece i will do as a performance and wear them around!. i feel every time i write the word acceptance I am filling up my repertoire of positive affirmation and it acts like a sort of meditation for me that i constantly repeat as i go. The words start to radiate an energy then.
You should definately wear them around! They are very striking pieces, beautiful, restrained and gently humorous. They are also incredible moving. Have you got any feedback, how do people react to the tights?
Yes, i have had some great feedback about the tights, i exhibited some drawings of them in the RDS Art Show 2011 and sold to 2 different women. They both felt an attachment to them and really liked the visual reminder hanging at home to 'accept' oneself. The tights are also a quirky drawing and have a humour to them. At the Lets Connect exhibition i had great reactions from some of the mental health patients the show was raising awareness around, where the patients really connected with the nature of the ACCEPTANCE TIGHTS.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment i am continuing working on my LOVE TREES which was the first drawings i had done using words. A love tree is a tree inscribed with the word love and a lot of people commission me to add in special occasions for weddings or someone passing away or a special quote that someone likes.
I am also working on other images to draw with words and trying to expand the work from paper drawings to other installation based works.