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19 October 2018 – 12 January 2019

British artist Rachel Kneebone is widely recognised for her practice in which complex porcelain sculptures express physical metamorphosis and movement. Her work has frequently been described as ‘sculptural choreography’ or ‘dance made static’.

This exhibition, The Dance Project, features new works that furthers her questioning into the experience of the body in motion.

As she writes: “I have always been fascinated by dance: how bodies meld and merge, how new forms are created by dancers, and how dance allows us to escape to a different space and language. My work is also deeply concerned with movement, form and space.”

Gallery One opens with Documents of the Instantaneous, a series of amorphous pencil drawings presented in dialogue with a central porcelain sculpture titled What is remembered in the body is well remembered. With this ensemble, Kneebone establishes her principal themes of the body in motion and metamorphosis.

The remaining three galleries bring together sculptures which give form to the language of movement through their rhythm, flux, poise, control and collapse. The repetition of motifs and details, such as spheres, ribbon, limbs and roses, develops a conversation amongst the individual sculptures and links them in a dialogue across the spaces.

In each work, Kneebone explores the human condition and form through what is known as the ‘porcelain body’, utilising the inherent flexibility of porcelain and choreographing the material to maximise its organic response. Integral to her work is the unpredictable behaviour that occurs in the kiln, reaffirming the relationship between structure and dissolve.

To accompany the exhibition, acclaimed choreographer TC Howard worked with a group of women across the Borough of Rochdale to develop a new piece of contemporary dance theatre which premiered on the opening night of the exhibition.

Rachel Kneebone: The Dance Project is part of Touchstones Rochdale’s Contemporary Forward programme and builds on our proud legacy of showcasing female artistic excellence.