These new works continue Haynes’ exploration of the potential for diverse activist discourses to inform radical frameworks for the future. Drawing on intergenerational and intersectional feminist ideas and practices, the works consider an ethics of care implied by activism for change.
Given the multifarious, entangled, and complex nature of change, how do we occupy a moment of resistance, and charge it with energy and dynamism to propel us forward? When working for change, how do we meet the ethical impulse to be still in the present moment, and to invest time in the act of listening? In considering these questions, these works interweave the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt with feminist protest language.
Small Acts of Resistance is a large-scale vertical banner that incorporates a woven pattern of printed quilting fabric to create optical vibrations and rippling colour effects. At the base of the cascading banner, emblazoned in gold, is the phrase ‘small acts of resistance create change’—a motif drawn from Arendt, which has informed a series of Haynes’ artworks since 2017.
The series Slow Revolutions (2020), collages together snippets from Arendt’s philosophical writing and text sourced from Haynes’ ongoing archive of feminist protest images. These texts are combined using a cut-up method and interwoven with rays of cut-out patterned fabric. Slow Revolutions Poster (2020) is a digital textiles work designed specifically for the Making Art Work online platform, where it is available to be printed and then displayed in private or communal spaces.
Rachael Haynes, Slow Revolutions Poster, 2020, digital poster.
On display at IMA Belltower:
Rachael Haynes, Small Acts of Resistance, 2020, quilting cotton, Belgian linen, and dowel, 450cm x 180cm.
Rachael Haynes, Slow Revolutions, 2020, quilting cotton, watercolour paper, Belgian linen, and dowel, 42cm x 45cm each.
Rachael Haynes is a contemporary artist and academic who lives and works in Australia. Her art practice engages with feminist archives, collective agency and care ethics by examining the social and personal constructs of language and gender. Rachael completed a PhD (2009) with the support of an Australian Postgraduate Award for research at QUT, where she is now Lecturer and Study Area Coordinator in Visual Arts. Rachael has been actively involved with independent and artist-run activity since 2010 and has served on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), was a founding member of the feminist collective LEVEL (2010-2018) and the Gallery Director of Boxcopy Contemporary Art Space (2012-2018). She is a member of the Engagement Council for the University of Queensland Art Museum. Her writing on feminism and art has been published in several journals including Feminist Review, Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics, Journal of Australian Studies, Educational Philosophy and Theory and was also included in the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Feminism (2019).