Student Spotlight: Cara Rainbow
Cara Rainbow was selected as the Zsuzsi Roboz Scholar for 2016-17, earning a year's tuition at Morley College London to develop her artistic style further. Now at the end of her scholarship, she's about to open her own exhibition, City Storeys and Folk Tales, at Morley Gallery.
Cara grew up in rural Wales before relocating to London, where she earned a First Class Honors in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London and was presented with the Elke Lacey Textiles award. Since graduating in 2013, she has worked independently to develop new and existing fictional characters through live performance, installation and ceramics.
Through a multidisciplinary approach, she creates fictional characters that represent different people, cultures and generations, who are trying to find a place for themselves in the world, where they belong and don’t, or have the right to be and not to be.
My art is an attempt to create an abstract reality where genuine emotional responses are heightened by the sincerity of the work. The aim is to leave the audience uninhibited by the boundaries of their current realities.
Cara Rainbow on the themes of her work
Cara's scholarship culminates in her exhibition, City Storeys and Folk Tails, at Morley Gallery in September 2017. Inspired by the distinct histories, memories and stories associated with three living environments of her life – rural Wales, the City of London, and the unusual ceramics collection of her grandmother’s house – she explores the points where these worlds intersect and tries to make sense of how they differ and coexist.
I grew up in a green landscape and my childhood was spent running through the forests with my friends and building dens. I now live in London, which is the complete opposite, and even after eight years I’m still trying to make sense of my surroundings. With this exhibition I want to disinhibit visitors from their everyday life within a simulated but untainted environment.
Cara Rainbow on her inspiration for City Storeys and Folk Tails
City Storeys and Folk Tails is a multidisciplinary, mixed media exhibition inspired by human resilience in the face of change and challenge. The exhibition fully transforms the public space at Morley Gallery using video, performance, sculpture, ceramic, and mosaic. This new body of work takes visitors on a sensory journey that will help them explore an imaginary world where they are invited to reconnect with old and new memories.
Drawing inspiration from her memories of growing up in rural Wales, her subsequent move to London, and the contrasting landscapes and cultures of the two, Cara Rainbow has created a landscape where nature and the city collide, intersect, and merge.
Highlights of the exhibition include Robbers Cave, a sculptural installation that is a simulation of a cave. Micro mosaics are embedded into its surface, leaving traces of a forgotten time and communicates how the meaning and significance of objects can change through the passage of time. Visible from both inside and outside Morley Gallery through a number of small peepholes, Robbers Cave is designed to be accessible at all times and potentially allow eye contact between visitors both inside and outside the Gallery space.
The mosaic instalments within Robbers Cave transition into a series of ceramic rocks. These have been created with the remnants of broken figurines to create new stories from old objects. Visitors can also engage with the installation's themes of contrast and change through a short film Are You Local?, which will be projected in the Gallery. This is a story where two characters, Three Tree and The City, meet for the first time. During scheduled performances these characters come alive and move around the exhibition, share their stories, and try to blend in with various natural habitats.
City Storeys and Folk Tails is free to enter during Morley Gallery’s opening times. Morley Gallery is open Monday-Friday from 11.00 – 18.00, and on Saturday from 12.00 – 14.00. See more of Cara's work on her website at www.cararainbow.co.uk.