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Collector Profile - Rachel Saunders

Collector Profile - Rachel Saunders

Collector Profile - Rachel Saunders

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Collector Profile: Rachel Saunders

Rachel Saunders is an artist and collector that we’ve been eyeing for a considerable amount of time. Her organic sculpture practice is eye-catching and carries a nostalgic romance in it’s imperfect forms and palette. Her focus around playfulness and sustainability keep her inspired to push boundaries and be innovative. Learn more about her ethos on creating and starting her collection.

Q.

Tell us a little about yourself...

A.

I’ve made my career as a self-taught ceramicist for the past four years and it’s slowly but beautifully growing into something that stretches beyond that container of a title. Clay has been a transformational tool in my life and it’s a medium I find a lot of harmony and innate understanding in. I also like to design, commune, connect, and share. The pursuit of continual self-exploration and betterment propels me, as well as the desire for some sense of outer and inner tranquility.

 

Q.

Where do you live and how did you find your space?

A.

I live on Vancouver Island, Canada. I grew up here and keep it as my home base because it’s so beautiful and calming here. I found my apartment last winter on my birthday when I took myself for a contemplative drive. I was having no luck finding a place that I liked enough to live and searching online was becoming so depressing. I was in a pretty surrendered state and I happened upon a beautiful mid-century turquoise building that reminded me of an LA bungalow. I saw the word “vacancy” posted on a little wooden sign, so I called right away and knew it was mine. They said the sign was hammered up minutes before I called.

 

Rachel Saunders says

"I love coming across people who I can tell work from their heart, whatever medium they use or age they are."

Q.

Where do you draw inspiration from when it comes to your ceramics?

A.

I’m inspired by play, positive intention, and anything that contributes to a healthier and more enjoyable environment. I like finding inventive ways to connect with others and exploring the simple basics that nurture us.

 

Q.

Where do you think your creative drive comes from?

A.

I think it comes from a sense of necessity. It’s a life force that’s been passed down to me by my family line, though not in an academic or intellectualized sense. The type of creativity I know and respect most is the inventive and resourceful, in a ‘take what you have and find a way to make a better sense. That’s an important way for me to live.

 

Q.

When did you first start acquiring art?

A.

All my friends growing up have been artists in many forms and we’d always trade paintings or collages, photos, and songs that I maybe took for granted. And even though I make objects for people to enjoy sometimes I have a hard time wanting to possess them myself as I never want to be tied to a place energetically and physically. I think it’s a growing up thing. I do like the idea of beautiful, meaningful pieces making up the tapestry of your life. I am just beginning now and it’s exciting.

 

Q.

What was the first piece you fell in love with, and why?

A.

I remember seeing an Agnes Martin painting at Dia:Beacon for the first time before ever knowing who she was and I was just so entranced by the soothing muted colors. It felt like it was a language I also knew.

 

Q.

Favorite museum or creative space for inspiration?

A.

I love Musée Rodin for its supply of sculpture and gardens, but anywhere I haven’t been before is always a hotspot of inspiration for me.

 

Q.

What are some of the most sentimental or meaningful pieces in your collection?

A.

The photograph of Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum that’s hanging in my living room is special to me because I found it when I was alone in Marrakech on a very pivotal trip. It was one of the only things I brought back for myself from a city that seemed to expect you to haul duffel bags home of its contents with you. But the dusty, dog-eared poster of a glamorous and mysterious woman spoke to me in some way. When I came home my apartment was still bare from having just moved in and she was the first to grace the walls. Another special piece is the mosaic table I recently made with my dad which was a really sweet collaboration. I designed the table and he built it, which I then tiled with shards of porcelain.

 

Q.

For new collectors, do you have any advice you wish to impart? Do you have a collecting ethos or philosophy that you want to share?

A.

I think it’s helpful to have a value system to determine what you want to collect and why. For me I like to purchase visual pieces that are handmade and add to the tranquility of my environment.

 

Q.

Can you define your relationship with other emerging artists? How do you feel you see their work or practices differently?

A.

I love coming across people who I can tell work from their heart, whatever medium they use or age they are. I try not to take in what my contemporaries are up to when I am creating so as not to fill my subconscious with what’s not mine, making sure I’m also working from a pure place. But I also do love how easy we can share with and see each other. There are so many people doing such amazing things, truly making this place better for us all.

 

Q.

What do you want to collect next?

A.

I love Syrian hand blown glass and I would love to find some older pieces that balance between ornate and imperfect gracefully.



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