Sometimes the same is different / but mostly it's the same
"Make it Witchu" - Queens of the Stone Age
Rachel Walters's works are founded on combinations of the hand-made, TradeMe white elephants and china cabinet expats.
Once production-line multiples, now orphans, they are sweet, familiar rejects. Walters borrows their pasts and grafts them onto myths, creating a fictional hybrid of ancestor stories and low-art losers. Conjoined by a mass of silicon or sometimes No-More-Nails, these new primitives make no secret of their detournement. Simultaneous and conflicting, the abject little outcasts pour cold water on any residual cuteness. Morphing form and formlessness, the pieces are preternatural yet needy. They invite affinity yet repel with their fixity.
Walters reconfigures some of the composites as singular and monochromatic by casting them and their oozing compounds in bronze. Dressed in high-art drag, lustrous brown or chalky white patinas, the objects articulate their oneness. They are perverse and misappropriate, parodying notions of originality, skill and finesse but also the seemingly grandiose gestures of past Readymades.
Her deadpan combinations quietly reference the inferior and the exile, and conjure spooky resonances: wooden pineapples, test tube vases and oversized salad servers assume poses outside their order and even though sculptural posturing can't hide their provenance, they still hint at animism and the potency of the natural world. Within the liminal realm these objects inhabit, everything is "almost". Not-so-everyday artefacts reach beyond their station, winning and failing at the same time.