Rachael Marne Jones ( She/her/hers )

Artist Statement

Through empty pockets, negative skins, trace fossils of life long past, we glean a glimpse of what once was, within the void. What objects, what formal voids will tell our story?

The bits of modern detritus, geo-teric landscapes and anachronous technologies that reveal the vast discrepancies within a world where capitalism’s breath is both hollow and colossal, tapping the pulse of every living being on this planet. Built up, and broken down, teetering on the edge of an existence so fragile that a silent wind seems to threaten what once felt rooted and stable beneath our outstretched palms?

A Serendipitous discovery of an curious origin; the archeological quality of clay compels the forms I make, and interactions that they evoke. When language fails to explain the nuances of material intimacy, clay & replication provides a platform for understanding humankind’s deep emotional history with our environment and the objects we surround ourselves with.

Particles come from the earth, deep histories already embedded; once again broken down, reworked, and polished into something new-passing through our hands, leaving our bodies, to return to the earth. How will these engineered reconstructions inherently alter the essence of their particles’ cycles? What small epiphanies can be revealed from what we hold, build and break with our fingertips? And what of the oily prints we leave behind? Who will be the ones to piece together the stories of our negative skins, whispering in the wind?

Using the remains of intention to construct a path through the future, I use casting and replication as a form of meditation to explore quiet moments left in the wake of human-kinds’ simultaneously ambitious and destructive drive to evolve, piloted by a deep sense of solastalgia.

The Seed Bank Project:

The Seed Bank Project is a multi-era, multi-disciplinary project meant to span decades, cultures and (hopefully) climate phenomena here on planet earth. Hand-made, double-walled porcelain seed vessels are given out to collaborators, who then fill them with seeds that have precious ecological and cultural significance to the region in which they call home. The banks are completely autonomous from human maintenance, meaning they are specifically designed to control the interior seed capsule’s humidity, light and temperature when buried below permafrost utilizing both ancient and modern technologies. This sustains the seed’s ability to stay viable for as long as its’ DNA will allow. They are buried in-situ, where the seeds were harvested and acclimated to grow and become a cultural and ecological marker of what is, and inevitably, what once was. In return, photo documentation, information and the location are shared on a public resource data-base, joining a myriad of banks scattered all over planet Earth. These vessels arose from a welling sense of solastalgia, and a desire to think about artwork beyond its’ primary context. The root of the project stems from an admiration of clay’s inherent ability to bring people together, the desire to promote active local ecological awareness while sowing hope for the future, and as a sort of reckoning with the unknown.

-- Rachael Marne Jones


Rachael Marne is a ceramic and Mixed Media Collaborative artist, born and raised in Helena, Montana, graduating from University of Montana with her BFA (2011). She did her Post-bacc at Louisiana State University, and received her MFA at Montana State University (2018). Her work has taken her to many exciting places such as the Bayou of Louisiana, the rainforests of Brazil and the Glacial Fields of the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. The diverse ecologies of these places have influenced her drive to understanding the fluxious nature of Earth’s balancing act, and has sparked a deep curiosity within her to understanding humankind’s inevitable variability within the larger system. She is the founder of The Seed Bank Project (2017-ongoing) and was the first artist to attend the Global Sustainability Fellows Program this summer at the Arava Institute for Ecological Studies in Israel (led by the Sustainability Laboratory of New York). She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY where she teaches ceramics & drawing, and continues her studio practice.