Living with Dying: Grief, Loss, Beauty and Joy
Left: Parting, Weaving (hand-knotted wool roving and cotton yarn), 16.5 x 22 inches, 2020
Right: Hereafter, Acrylic on wood panel, 18 x 24 inches, 2021
Rachel Davis received her B.A. from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and her M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rachel’s work has been exhibited in national venues including the Holter Museum of Fine Art, Helena, Montana; Evergreen Galleries, Olympia, Washington; and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in Madison, Wisconsin. Rachel completed a year-long artist-in-residence at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, Illinois in 2018 and an Artist-in-Residence at the DuPage Children’s Museum in 2019. Currently, Rachel teaches natural dye techniques in the textiles department at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago.
About Parting and Hereafter Rachel writes:
I work across studio practices in weaving, textiles, painting and printmaking. The two pieces I have included in this exhibit are a response to the loss of my father in 2001 and my brother a decade later. The textile piece, Parting, was first composed as a painting on wood panel and then interpreted in wool using Turkish knots and weaving. The painting, Hereafter, was made in memory of my brother David. He was my loyal friend and confidante, the guy you want in your corner.
Two decades ago, I had the privilege to be by my father’s side with my siblings and mother when he died. We were all together and holding on to him and one another. I am certain that he waited for us to gather together before letting go. My brother David died in the hospital ten years later after complications from juvenile diabetes. My mother was able to hold the phone to his ear while he was dying. I remember not knowing what to say, except to say repeatedly that I loved him. These two pieces were made to reflect on my father's and brother's deaths and to honor their time in this world.