East Village prophet Daniel Pinchbeck: “Referencing sacred geometry and Mayan cosmology, Rachel Garrard’s artwork reveals an intricate web of interconnectedness that points beyond the visible, into the visionary worlds.”
British artist Rachel Garrard’s performances, drawings, sculptures and holographic projections are inspired by an intriguing mix of modern science and ancient spiritual practices. “Higher sciences, like quantum theory, Egyptian metaphysics and geometry, are based on the idea that there’s more than just the physical aspect of life,” the 28-year-old says, “like higher states of consciousness, where you can see beyond matter.”
In the holographic projection “Journey Home Through the Constellations”, Garrard, barefoot in a white dress, walks in a circle, tracing the geometric alignment of celestial bodies as her body shrinks and multiplies, dissolving into thousands of tiny rotating planets and stars. The project references the importance of 2012 to many ancient stargazing civilisations. “Theories that the universe and the brain work like a hologram relate to concepts in Hinduism and Mayan philosophy, that the world is just an illusion,” Garrard explains. “It’s interesting how modern science picks up on ideas similar to ancient concepts.” For her “Star Dust Etchings”, Garrard looked to geometric proportions in ancient maps and meditated to create her own astronomical interpretations. “Often I’ll visualise the same image, and it will keep coming back clearer.” She finished by outlining the etchings with “star dust” (ground seashells) gathered in South America.
While Garrard’s art takes radically different forms, there’s an underlying desire to connect the expansive realms of the universe with the finite boundaries of the human body. “When I’m meditating or having out-of-body experiences,” she says, “I see that everything is just energy and is all connected.”
Having grown up in a family of scientists, Garrard rebelled by deciding on art from an early age. After studying at Central Saint Martins, she moved to New York, but it was a stint living in an eco-community in Mexico, learning from Mayan elders, that recently influenced her. “They did some amazing healing with me, it was really intense. At the end they pulled a chunk of my hair out to allow the energy to escape,” she remembers, unfazed. Garrard plans to return there for the “end of the world” on December 21, the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar. “We’ll go to Chichen Itza, one of the main Mayan pyramids,” she says. “The light shines through the passage at the top of the pyramid in a special way on December 21, that’s what it was built for. With the 2012 phenomena, I don’t think there’ll be a major event, but we’re evolving into a higher level of consciousness. There isn’t a set destiny for the planet, only a number of possibilities, and our collective thoughts and actions are creating the future.”
Photography Peter Kaaden