Image: Color and responce
Rachel Jones, lick your teeth, they so clutch, 2021. Photo: Eva Herzog. © Rachel Jones
Featured in Saint Heron

Color and responce Tiffany A. Ward in conversation with Rachel Jones

11 October 2022

By Tiffany Auttrianna Ward

Rachel Victoria Jones invites audiences into the abstract worlds she creates through painting, installation, sound and performance art disciplines. Her artistic practice - one of deep personal importance and exploration - offers an entry point into viewing and understanding abstract art through her motifs and mark-making based in color theory and afro-diasporic histories. Calling upon call-and-response traditions, Jones embraces a relationship between the painting, the viewer and most importantly herself. As she yields expressive strokes and colors throughout the canvas, she creates a language that is both readable and profound.

Born in London, Rachel received her B.A. from Glasgow School of Art, and her M.A. from the Royal Academy of Art in London. Since 2013, her work has been exhibited and collected by major galleries and institutions throughout the UK, France, and the U.S. Her profile is rising rapidly with record-breaking auction results; she was included in a group exhibition at Washington D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden following a recent solo exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery. She’s also been commissioned to produce a performance with The Roberts Institute of Art in London, and currently has work on view in Stockholm’s Rock my Soul II group exhibition.

What I find most remarkable is her commitment to developing her own language and herself as a woman, a black woman, and an artist. Rachel makes and finds space to prioritize herself within the process of her work, while also taking time for rest, by intentionally building a “rich life both inside and outside the studio”. She keenly understands thinking and working outside the formulaic ways the art world prescribes. In her understanding of audience, she crafts “spaces of intent” through her paintings while maintaining persistence in being faithful to her lived reality. Rachel creates for you and me, and also for her present and younger self. Initially inspired by her childhood interest in drawing and comics - which she calls her first interaction with abstraction - Jones is paving a new road, and a new language, in contemporary art.

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