Graduate Alumni > Rachel Selekman (MFA 1991)

White Spray
Painted watering can spout, fabric, thread, and cord
42 1/2 x 22 x 58 inches
Spouted Bouquet
Glazed earthenware, ribbon, thread, snaps, epoxy, and buckram. Hand-sewing and fabrication
36 1/2 x 34 x 24 1/2 inches
Red Velvet Glow
Pocketbook frame, fabric, thread, chain, flower, velvet leaves, and mixed media
23 x 13 x 13 1/4 inches
Fresh Purse 1
Pocketbook frame, fabric, thread, chain, flowers, and mixed media
55 x 45 x 50 inches
Fresh Purse 2
Pocketbook frame fabric, thread, paper-covered wire, and mixed media
53 x 29 x 40 inches

Much of my recent sculpture delights in the exploration of materials and form in conjunction with ideas of fecundity and sexuality. Pocketbooks have been, and remain, evocative forms that keep me inspired and intrigued in part because of their association with women. I see the purses as stand-ins for the body even if a direct bodily reference may not be obvious. They are personas of sorts. The watering can spouts suggest growth and nurturing, both in their form and in their actual function. Additionally, the spout form is also quite phallic, particularly when removed from the can, so it connotes an entirely other connection to growth and nurturing. 

In “Fresh Purse” pocketbooks and watering can spouts conjoin. Fused, I see these new forms as a melding of female and male and at the same time, as female with both masculine and feminine attributes. Either way, to me, these works, and the work in general, are the celebratory manifestations of love, sexuality, and connectedness.