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Focus Gallery

Rebekah Miller2020 01 Arts Underground Rebekah Miller

Opening reception: Friday, January 10 
On view:
January 10 - February 1, 2020

Within our clothing, we find our identities, ourselves and to some extent our homes. We inhabit our clothing as we do our skins. The notion of the skin as a form of clothing – a covering, as well as a primary indicator of the form in question – is a central concept within my practice.

Through the act of skinning, whether it is through the tactile imprint of the architecture, the removed exterior of a natural object or the reinterpretation of its form, I aim to provide an entry point into the elemental home, itself forming the matrix of our relationship to the natural world. It is through this process that I intend the viewer to gain a deeper understanding of our relationship to nature through the metaphoric inhabitation of these skins as well as to transport the viewer back into a landscape outside of modern culture – to a habitation more heavily rooted in the subliminal but also anchored in basic practices such as hunting, gathering, building and dwelling.

Within this work, I want to convey a sense of desire to return to this lost place through an idealized notion of the past while paradoxically denying the viewers entrance through the works materiality of the skin actualized. It is this tension between what is represented through the exterior physical barrier of the subject and the perceived interior space for reception which intrigues me most. My own futile desire to gain entrance into these skins propels me through the work. The skins of these works are characterized by their inherent inability to produce the substantiated form. In its place, they are presented as mere husks of the original. This disparity between the idealized and actualized subject is meant to enhance the uncanny feeling of an unsettling familiarity as well as the sense of futility evoked through these works. Throughout this series, I attempt to provide evidence of the forms and places in question rather than to represent their presence in full. What remains is only a whisper of their former selves, eulogized through the delineation of skin.

Rebekah Miller is a visual artist working in various mediums including drawing, sculpture, printmaking, textiles, and photography. She completed her BFA at Alberta College of Art and Design in 2008 and her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2011. Rebekah's art practice focuses on human interactions with nature, including rural Canadian homesteading and hunting practices. She is interested in examining lifestyles of our collective past and applying this knowledge to her own life, as well as expressing her findings and experiences through her studio practice. Rebekah lives and works in Dawson City, YT.

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