Rachel Laycock: ‘Little Black Book’


It’s not very often you get a moment that truly moves you and makes you rethink art. During Rachel Laycock’s talk I had such as moment.

In 2007 Rachel Laycock created a piece of work which I find makes you stop and think about the true value of art. Within any initial ideas and pressed for time Laycock looked towards herself for inspiration, which she found in the form of her diary that she kept at the time.

‘Little Black Book’ would go on to become a symbol for a very hard time in her life. During the time of the pieces construction, Laycock was suffering from postnatal depression, this mental health issue she believes affected her work and can be seen within the piece itself, ‘Little Black Book’ a piece created out of her diary entries, displayed in the form of falling glass pages. The piece I believe holds a sense of an impending doom, the use of shadow play coupled with the way the falling pages appear to be frozen in time, edges towards a sense of waiting for time to move on and everything to come crashing down.

The way Laycock expresses herself, opens up her life to the viewer is commendable. It’s easy for an artist to use their work to express themselves however many do so in order to release themselves of the subject or stress that they have at the time. Laycock uses her work as a way to almost embrace the issue. ‘Little Black Book’ is a piece that can still be seen affecting her to this day. Talking about such a moment in her life was hard for her and even harder to watch, you can see that much like the pages Laycock is waiting for a time where she can restart time and embrace this moment. It is truly a piece to make you stop and think about the value of art.

This artwork holds a meaning greater than its original purpose, it holds a moment in time that both shows her pain and with further time I believe will also show her recovery.

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