‘In addition to the historical research that informs her work, Rachel impresses by the breath of her artistic interpretation, which includes site-specific installations and animating the past through shadow-plays and film. In a public talk on the subject at the Harris, Rachel linked her research to our ‘Enchanted Worlds’ exhibition plus items from the permanent collection. Her lecture was very well received by an appreciative audience’
Amanda Draper – Keeper of Fine Art, Harris Museum & Art Gallery
Rachel Riggs (UK/AUS) is a multi media artist exploring the superimposition of discarded fragments, amplified by reclaiming what nature and human kind discard.
By drawing on her background in puppetry and children’s theatre, she creates stories with visual art works drawn from fairytale imagery, animism and spirit. Her work has a childlike naivety and innocence which is open and unpredictable. Often pieces are created spontaneously, unconsciously with a dream like quality and surrealness.
Riggs main art form is puppetry, in all its many techniques and methods; whether transformational object play or shadow theatre.Her multi-media practice often connects with people’s emotional sense of space & place. By using her visual theatre and visual art skills, she initiates exciting and innovative projects, often working with community groups. Discovering and documenting local culture and history to inform discussion, bringing together past, present and future by superimposing image and word, whether in 2D collage, assembled 3D sculpture, theatre or film.
By using traditional creative methods fused with contemporary practice, she develops and facilitate’s educational arts programmes for the 21st Century, in theatres, art centres, community places, museums and art galleries. Fully utilizing documentary techniques with online media including blogging, photography and film, to record audience’s feedback and evaluate.
EMPLOYMENT AND PROJECTS
2014 – 2015 Artist in Education for the Song Room national programme of engaging children through creativity in schools, working in Perth and the Pilbarra region. Artist in Residence at Como Children’s Centre with ‘Imaginary Leaps’ creating theatre play installations.
2013 Theatre Director & Designer ‘Cloud Child’early years theatre performance and imaginative play programme,UK tour and Western Australia.
Funding award for Creative Professional Development from CANWA and Australia Council for the Arts to work with Indigenous & Emerging communities in WA.
2012 Award-winning Parade Artist for Fremantle Festival Parade,W.A for three years running 2011, 2012 & 2013. She also performed at the UNIMA Int. Puppetry Festival, Chengdu, China, and the World Puppet Carnival, Kazakhstan with her solo show, ‘Change of Heart’ and at Fremantle Festival & Perth Fringe.
Theatre Artist ‘Change of Heart’ solo performance exploring cellular memory in the heart as an emotional object, performed at World Puppet Carnival ,Kazakhstan, Fremantle festival & Perth Fringe.
Artistic Director presenting ‘Atishoo!’ family show performed internationally at Act 2 Children’s Festival, Singapore and premiered at Perth International Arts Festival.
2011 Creative Director presenting ‘Imaginary Leaps’ at Awesome Children’s Festival, Perth – early childhood event presenting a creative play programme..
2010 Lead Artist Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Fremantle
Making large scale parade puppets for Kwinana Festival community parade with young people and community at Koorliny Arts Centre & Gilmore College.
Creative Director Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, WA ‘Imaginary Leaps” Development of family engagement art programme with AGWA arts education team.http://dnapuppetry.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/imaginary-leaps-at-the-art-gallery-of-western-australia
2009 Selected Artist Atkinson Gallery, Somerset, UK Collage and painted artwork chosen for MA post graduate exhibition.
Lead Artist Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, UK installation of puppets & props from DNA puppetry & visual theatre co. for ‘Enchanted Worlds’ exhibition, research lecturer on ‘Local Fairy Folklore’ & community Shadow Theatre programme.http://www.harrismuseum.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=334&Itemid
2008 Selected Artist PEST Artists Collective, Preston, UK Miniature artwork for window gallery at launch of ‘Domestic Spaces’ publication organised by In Certain Places. http://www.incertainplaces.org/
2008-2009 Lead Artist TATE, Liverpool, UK Lead artist for international shadow theatre project for ‘The Fifth Floor’ exhibition collaborating with artists from China and Everyman Youth Theatre for Liverpool City of Culture 2008. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-life-features/liverpool-arts/2008/12/30/tate-s-fifth-floor-produces-art-from-and-for-the-people-92534-22571851/
2006 Lead Artist Selected Artist Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster University,UK ‘Making Money’ bursary artist, ‘Change of Heart’ project exploring the heart as an emotional object, exploring artists creative process in installation & performance. http://www.dynamicnewanimation.co.uk/Art_of_heart.htm
2005 Lead Artist Green Room, Manchester,UK ‘Art of Heart’ exhibition, approx. 20 of own artworks on display with live art peepshow performances.
2003-2004 Education Artist Bethnal Green Children’s Museum, Victoria & Albert, London, UK Training & development sessions in the museum for teachers and practitioners linking current exhibitions to Years K -7 curriculum.
2000 – 2001 Education Artist TATE Modern, London, UK
Developing ‘Constructing Identities’ arts programme for young people and professional training.
1999 – 2002 Education Artist in Residence TATE Britain, London, UK
‘Visual Pathways to Literacy’ outreach project Years 1- 7 linking schools to art gallery with prof, development training. Also ‘Young Cultural Creators’ Literacy Programme with libraries.
EDUCATION 2007-2009 University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK M.A Fine Arts – Site & Archive Intervention (Distinction) http://www.uclan.ac.uk/information/courses/fine_art_site_archive_intervention.php
2008-2009 CETAD, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK Early Years Professional Teaching Status qualification plus Child Care & Learning Certificate Level 6 http://www.cetad.lancs.ac.uk/courses/view/48-early-years-professional-status.html
1992-1993 Central School of Speech & Drama, London, UK
Advanced Diploma in Puppetry (Distinction)
1990-1991 Arden Drama Centre, Manchester, UK, Certificate in Practical Theatre Arts (Commendation)
1989-1990 Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
Certificate in Community & Recreational Arts (Commendation)