Rachel Kneebone is a British artist whose intricate works address and question the human condition. Raft of the Medusa’s tumbling limbs and fractured swags are at once coquettish and sinister; their gleaming white surfaces and exquisite detail belie scenes of collapse and dismemberment. Using porcelain, a delicate material traditionally associated with Rococo exuberance and fine tableware, Kneebone subverts viewers’ expectations. Visibly exploiting the material properties of porcelain, she deliberately allows her work to distort and crack in the kiln, inviting the viewer to question the relationship between strength and vulnerability. This display in the Museum’s historic rooms distils and abstracts the Foundling Hospital’s suppressed narratives of sexual desire, emotional damage, and female strength, whilst also referencing ideas of displacement, refuge, and resilience.
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