Rachel Hefferan is an artist and fermentation lover working to heighten the beauty, complexity, and necessity of microbial life. These tiny lives that came before us, exist within us, and facilitate the recycling of all basic structures in our world deserve to be celebrated. In the last year the presence of the microbial has been forced to the forefront of society’s thoughts, but there is more for us to learn than how to sterilize. Through the chemistry of natural dyes and structured logic of a loom as a metaphorical tool sitting somewhere between science and magic, abstractions of microbial life can emerge to be understood through a visual tactility. Shifts in surface texture, pattern, and overall scale are used to draw the viewer in close, a second look, perhaps. In the moment of looking closer, the viewer’s body enacts the function of the microscope. Rachel is an active homesteader & environmentalist. On her property she cares for sheep, goats, chickens, bees, and a large garden. Her life and artistic practice continually cross pollinate, exchanging influences between home and studio practice. As a weaver, Rachel views the loom as a tool for discovery and play; she structures her approach to making with science practices that allow for constant revision and learning. Hand spinning, crochet, natural dyes, recycled mill ends or discarded yarns, are all important parts of her studio practice.
Microbes are omnipresent. Let us look slowly, together.