I had the good fortune to see her work in the Light Factory show on Saturday (DOMA, bless 'em, was closed for the day), and I came away strongly taken with this work.
This work is from a portfolio called Waiting and Rachel says of it, "This collection covers photos taken over the last year or so while waiting. Often waiting on my son or at some family activity. Often in very institutional places, with bad florescent lighting. Often where every room is painted a vague shade of tan. Often for quite some time. Unlike my world – either the one I live in or the one in my head – the world here is quiet. There is a feeling of suspension; moments between what has happened and what might happen next. A sense of relief or respite, of interruption. A time out to examine the objects around, which are all waiting too, and will be long after we are gone. A time to wait for what will come."
The feeling of "time out" is palpable in these images, time out to consider the form of a pencil sharpener or of a handicapped access chair in a swimming pool, or of a very institutional doorway leading to a stairwell.
Rachel's handling of light and composition in her images is masterful. She has chosen to present this work printed relatively small (maybe 8x10 or so), and simply matted in a classic frame. The format invites the viewer into the kind of contemplation that produced it.
A photographer friend once told me advice her teacher had given her about photography that if you can't make it good, make it big, and if you can't make it big, make it red. This work does not to be big or red to be engaging and rewarding.
Rachel is doing good work, and I look forward to seeing more of it, so I'm adding her to my list of Southern Photographers We're Getting to Know.