The Ballad of Fire Mountain, Rachel Louise Brown’s solo exhibition of new work, is the culmination of a five week residency on Mount Etna, Sicily. Brown was selected by the town of Zafferana Etnea as their inaugural artist in residence, and the new work has resulted from her interaction with the town, its inhabitants and the volcano.
‘Inspired and creatively nourished by an unfamiliar landscape, Rachel Louise Brown made a double journey: one literary, geographical towards southern Europe, and the other within herself, as a woman and a photographer. In A Ballad for Fire Mountain she finds herself being astonished as a serene observer of elements quite unfamiliar to her in previous artistic research cycles – The Malevolent Eye and The Self as The Other. In those works it was in fact possible to see, beyond the full visual aesthetic of the photo, a psychological investigation of the photographic object and the observer; in A Ballad for Fire Mountain such investigation takes place gradually and smoothly using sheer visual grammar and language. Perhaps her aim was achieving a new aesthetic category, a new way of extending oneself in front of the camera lens, or perhaps it was to get lost and find oneself again through the mechanisms and the experiential and psychological dynamics of the contemplative state’. - Angelo Sturiale, Residency Director – Zafferana Etnea International Artist Residency Program 2014
Rachel Louise Brown graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 2011 with a MA in Photography (Distinction), following a BA (Hons) in Photography at London College of Communication in 2008. She has exhibited widely, with shows in London, Liverpool, Copenhagen, Paris, Niort, New York, Dallas and Toronto, and has completed residencies in Paris, Niort and New York. In 2010 she was a UK winner of Magenta’s Flash Forward – Emerging Photographers award and Pour l’Instant Photography Prize.
In addition her work was recently part of the Boutographies photography festival in Montpellier (2013) and was also shortlisted for Visions of 21st Century Feminism and New Contemporaries (2010). Other selected awards include Applied Arts Magazine - Photographic Series in 2009, Fujifilm Distinctions in 2008, and honourable mentions in both the Fine Art and Deeper Perspective categories at the International Photography Awards, also in 2008. Brown was a visiting faculty member at the New York School of Visual Arts during its critical photography residency in 2011.
Brown has been selected to be the artist in residence for Pinsent Masons during 2013 - 2014, and in 2014 was selected for the National Art Open Exhibition at Somerset House, and to complete a residency at Palm Beach Photography Center, Florida.
Collectors of Rachel Louise Brown’s work include Laura Skoler, trustee of the New Museum, New York.