Rachael Guy

Susanne Kennedy

Rachael Guy, Doughboys

Rachael Guy, Doughboys

Over the past decade Rachael Guy has worked across several disciplines. Formally trained as a visual artist, her voice has been in demand in contemporary music theatre circles and she has been a soloist in Ihos Opera productions. Writing is another passion. For a long time Guy has wanted to create a body of work that incorporates all these practices. She began exploring the concept of adult puppetry and in 1999 produced a series of erotic dolls with highly detailed porcelain heads and hand stitched lingerie bodies. Disquieting and fascinating to look at, these little figures became conduits for Guy's themes of transgression, appetite and ambiguity. Seeing them in an installation, or being held or regarded by people (usually with a mixture of curiosity, revulsion and humour), gave her the idea for Torrington’s Buttons, a solo show which will lie somewhere between performance art and theatre. The piece provides a vehicle through which Guy explores her experience as an adolescent, grappling with a sense of acute isolation in the suburbs of Launceston and how she dealt with this by forming an intense emotional and imaginative attachment to a deceased sailor (a member of the Franklin Expedition to find the Northwest Passage in 1845-8). In 1986, the perfectly preserved remains of the young sailor, John Torrington, were exhumed from permafrost. His image appeared in the media and struck a profound emotional chord with Rachel Guy during a difficult adolescent period. She intends to tell this story of adolescent love survival through a theatre work that combines narrative, song and puppetry in a minimal theatrical setting.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 33

© Susanne Kennedy; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 October 2003
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