Rachel Hines is an interdisciplinary artist working with themes revolving around absence, community, and intimacy. The work takes shape in videos, actions, objects, photographs and drawings. Hines studied at Pratt Institute, NY where she received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art with an emphasis in Art and Design Education. While at Oregon State University she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting with a minor in Art History.
She lives and works in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Thom Hines, and their dog, Buddy. Currently she is Adjunct Assistant Professor in Art at Portland State University.
Duplex: How did you get to where you are now?
Rachel Hines: I was born in Hollywood CA. It was always sunny and beautiful, so that contributed to my attitude. I have a huge family; my mom is one of ten children and my dad was one of twelve, so there is a big range of professions. We have artists, priests, doctors, teachers, an archeologist, a translator, etc. Also, my family moved a lot. I haven’t spent more than a few years in any one place. I’ve been exposed to a lot of different, sometimes-conflicting theories, places, and ways of working. I think that contributed to the way I practice art. I’ll do some drawing, some painting, some performance, choosing the medium that works best for my concept.
Until about a year and a half ago, I had been a very academic artist. I would come up with a concept, construct an image in my mind and produce the piece. But lately I am allowing my thoughts to be what they are, and my art followed suit. The newer art is messy and raw and vulnerable. That’s how the Hair Brain series was born.
One day I went into my studio, filled with anxiety and emotion. I couldn’t process my feelings verbally or visually, so in a frustrated moment, I began to scribble. The racing thoughts made my hand work very quickly and fervently. I worked with my right hand until it was too tired, then switched to my left.