For our March exhibition we are delighted to be showing recent drawings, ceramics and sculpture by Rachael House – work to buoy us up in difficult times.
‘Resistance and Repair’ is a quote from Olivia Laing’s book Funny Weather – Art in an Emergency. Laing suggests that art can be for resistance and repair. That we need both. This has a great deal of resonance for Rachael House’s practice.
During the first year of the current pandemic, unable to make her planned work on a residency with Metal Peterborough, Rachael documented the political, social and emotional impact of what was happening in comic strip form. Initially posted on Instagram, these drawings became a book ‘Resistance Sustenance Protection‘ (with support from Arts Council England and Metal Culture). The prints in this exhibition are works from this book.
Alongside these works, Rachael’s genderqueer deity sculptures protect us from gender conformity and those who would attack the rights of women, womxn and all of those with less power than the ruling elites. There is hope in this work, a reminder that queer joy is vital to sustain us, and the hand drawn tiles extend an invitation to those we wish to welcome into our lives, cats, queers, artists, witches, crones and more.
Rachael House: Resistance and Repair will be on show in INTRA’s windows gallery from Saturday 5th – Thursday 31st March. Visible from the the street at all times, and lit 7am – midnight daily.
Rachael House is part of a transtemporal, feminist family of artists and makers whose work is a form of resistance. She revels in the space between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, making use of performance, comic strips and ceramics to address themes such as queerness, ageing, mental health and gender-based discrimination. Presented in galleries and museums, House’s art can also be found in places where it can get things done: in parks, nightclubs and in the streets.
Rosie Cooper, Director, Wysing Arts Centre
The triumph of Resistance Sustenance Protection is how economically House captures the message of each individual page without losing its potency in delivery. Mixing comics with graphic design, symbolism, visual metaphor and single illustration, this is a book that challenges, questions and provokes with a scathing honesty. Vitally, though, it’s also a very empathetic, compassionate and community-minded venture. Much of the most important comics practice of 2021 has been that which has embodied a defiant sense of social justice. We can add Rachael House’s Resistance Sustenance Protection to that list.Without a doubt, one of the absolute must-read books of 2021.
Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier
Rachael House is a UK artist who makes events, objects, performance, drawings and zines. Her work focuses on feminist and queer politics and resistant histories/herstories, aiming to reach as many like-minded people as possible, inside and outside of the art world. She uses humour, personal engagement and events to draw in those who may not be like-minded too.
Alongside and as part of her fine art practice she makes zines. In the 1990s she was part of the international queerzine scene. Today, her zines are in museum and university archives and feature in academic and art books. Her projects have ranged from Rachael House’s Feminist Disco – putting the ‘disco’ into ‘discourse’, to an ongoing series of piñatas representing heteronormativity, patriarchy and the institution of monarchy, to be gleefully and violently smashed at joyful celebrations with big glittery sticks. Resistance Sustenance Protection, her first book, was published in 2021, supported by Metal Culture and Arts Council England.
Rachael is currently on sabbatical from her role as co-director of artist-run Space Station Sixty-Five.