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Photography (MA)

Rachel Gordon

Rachel Gordon is a Scottish visual artist and curator currently based in London. Working with both analog and digital photographic processes, her practice is driven by phenomenological and material inquiries into care, longing, touch and what it means to be orientated within a space that we do not feel is ours; particularly spaces shaped by an intimacy which feels out of reach or may no longer exist.


2021-2023 MA Photography, Royal College of Art

2017-2020 BA Photography, London College of Communication UAL


2023 'Overflow', Commercial Street Gallery, London (13-16 July)

2023 'RCA2023: Graduate Show', Truman Brewery, London (13-16 July)

Selected Features & Exhibition

2023 Fresh Eyes Talent, GUP Magazine

2023 ‘Third Floor’, Royal College of Art, London UK

2022 PORT Magazine, Issue 31

2022 ‘Photo50 Performance: Doing & Undoing Islands’, London Art Fair, UK

2022 RCA Work In Progress Show, Online

2020 FotoFilmic JRNL 6 

2020 Winner, Simon Bishop Prize

2020 UAL Graduate Showcase, Online

2020 ‘Adrift’, Safehouse 1, Peckham, London UK

2019 ‘Environ’, Copeland Gallery, Peckham, London UK

2019 ‘Loading...’ The Art Academy, London UK

A black and white photographic print of a shadow on a tiled ground, with the head and feet of the figure missing from the image

What’s the thought practice for what seems incomprehensible but then makes perfect sense?

– Kathleen Stewart and Lauren Berlant

Merging both autobiographical and fictional narratives, I am intrigued by the cognitive interplay between materiality and imagination. I navigate the visualisation of thoughts and experiences, contemplating the ways in which the personal and collective, whether in figurative or abstract form, become manifested or obscured within imagery. Working across representational and non-representational imagery, the physicality of darkroom processes is a crucial element of my practice; it allows for a distinct form of performative hapticality and tactile encounter with both physical and imagined space.

A doorway where you can just about see a bed with a window above it and a tree outside
Green abstract photogram with flashes of black and yellow
Portrait of a man in a field
Red photogram with flashes of yellow and black formless shapes
Person's hands rolling a cigarette on a beach, the face is not visible, scrunchie on wrist, phone on lap
Abstract photogram which blends from blue to purple, and a deep blue rope like form stretching across
A glimpse of a kitchen with like seeping through to the side of the fridge, a counter and bowl of fruit just within the frame
Abstract yellow photogram with very subtle traces or scratches of green, and a dark black light leak seeping in on the right
Portrait of the side of a woman's face, she is wearing earings and her hair is tucked behind her ea

Recently I have returned to a collection of images that I took between the ages of 18 and 24, which now feel both familiar and unfamiliar, undulating somewhere between the autobiographical and the collective. It made me think about navigating a space that doesn't feel entirely ours, particularly when shaped by a past intimacy that may no longer exist.

Through rhythm, marks and gestures, I respond to these images by creating formless space within the darkroom, exploring the complexities of emotion as a kind of flutter of the mind; an oneiric, attentive movement. Engaging with these mental constructs goes beyond verbal or visual representation, requiring an embodied language to organise, absorb and disseminate these memories of bliss and uncertainty which oscillate in my mind.

I unravel the relationship and distance between myself, my environment, and the materiality of the image, often responding to music and memorised or improvised movement. I work blindly both in a literal sense, in the pitch black of the darkroom, and the metaphorical, working with the resistance of the materials. Untethering these encounters and merging landscapes, both internal and external. The creative process in itself is a transformative incident; an unfolding of reality and an articulation of mind and body.


Silver gelatin prints and C-type prints, varying sizes, 2023
A installation of a triptych, featuring three abstract pink, green and blue photograms
C-type prints, 75x90cm, 2023
An abstract photogram with a pale pink blurred background with an organic blue flowing form with white thread like lines weaving
 A darker pink photogram with flashes of blue and a white string assembly
 A deep blue photogram with a green form which looks like a sound wave, white and blue string assembly weaves through
 A cream photogram with a blue, river like form which stretches across the print, and green smear in the lower centre


Unique C-type prints, 2023


An installation of a black and white print in the studio, an analog self portrait pointing to a white circle
C-type print, 127x135cm, 2022
A grid of four pink photograms, with varying arrangements of circles and subtle colour changes
Unique C-type prints, each 20x20cm, 2022
A hand in motion painting the floor, with a painted orange in the background and a strip of light to the right
Silver gelatin print, 25x25cm, 2022
A black and white abstract image of a textured painted floor and wall with a streak of light off centre
Silver gelatin print, 25x25cm, 2022