Approved: 13.01.2017

Rachel Gomme

Artist, Teacher, Writer

Approved: 13.01.2017

With a background in dance, my practice is rooted in the body and what it is to be an embodied being in a material world. My first durational performances were concerned with how memory is stored and manifested in the body, focusing on how tiny repetitive movements build into habits and patterns, and the unique detail of each manifestation of a repeated movement.

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With a background in dance, my practice is rooted in the body and what it is to be an embodied being in a material world. My first durational performances were concerned with how memory is stored and manifested in the body, focusing on how tiny repetitive movements build into habits and patterns, and the unique detail of each manifestation of a repeated movement.

My work with knitting in performance considers how a process of making becomes materially embodied in both the artefact and the body of the maker. A number of cumulative (year-long, or multi-year) and 24-hour projects examine the accumulation of process in the body over time.

I have an ongoing interest in spaces and phenomena conventionally perceived in terms of absence or lack (silence, stillness, waiting, darkness). I have explored these through group and solo performance, one-to-one interactions and installation.

My one-to-one practice began with audience in 2005, in which I invited the participant to spend 10 minutes in silence with me, and recorded the silence. This powerful exchange with over 150 individuals developed into a sound and video installation, and was followed by further one-to-one interactions, which invite participants to engage in a shared sense of embodiment, questioning the physical boundaries between self and other, self and world.

I continue to be fascinated by embodied process, by the materiality of the body in movement and modes of bodily knowing that go beyond the cognitive. I am especially interested in how the substance of body mirrors and merges with environment. I am intrigued by how nature (including bodies) inhabits, adapts to and subverts the city, exploring this through site-specific performance and a series of guided walks looking at 'uninvited' growth in urban spaces.

My work is strongly image-based, and influences range from Rothko, Cage and Camus to Ana Mendieta and Anne Bean, as well as my own sense of the need for spaces of rest and calm in a noisy urban world.

CV & Education

Performance and installation work

2016 Tideshift: site-specific performance, InspiralLondon festival, London SE10

2015 Tail-Bearer: site-specific performance, Supernormal Festival, Oxfordshire

2015 Water Bearer: site-specific durational performance, Canalside Festival, Chisenhale Dance Space, London E3

2014 Flotsam; Flotsam: Tideshift; Jetsam: site-specific performances and film: Greenwich foreshore and Queen’s House, Greenwich, London

2013 Shell: 10-minute duet. Lock-Up Performance Art, London; GOlive festival, London

2013 Talking Matter: one-to-one conversational interaction. ‘What Now?’ festival, London; ‘Made in Roath’ festival, Cardiff, ‘In Dialogue’, Nottingham; ‘Peopling the Palace’, London

2012 Mouth to Mouth: one-to-one interactive performance. London and touring

2012 Knit One, Twirl One: dance piece made for Age on Stage seniors dance group, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

2012 Suspend 4 (Tooting): 3-part solo performance, Construction Gallery, Tooting

2012 Keepsake: one-to-one performance for 'Grave Matters' site-specific event, Nunhead Cemetery

2011- Handover: one-to-one interactive performance. London; Utrecht; Latitude festival; Brighton; Liverpool

2010 Hour (for Penelope): durational performance. Hatch, Leicester and Nottingham; What Now? London. 24-hour performance at 'One More Time', London, Oct 2011

2010 Waiting Game: 30-minute solo performance. Performance Intermedia Festival, Szczecin, Poland

2010 Ravelled Sleeve: A Vigil for Insomniacs: durational performance. Midnight Matinee, Tristan Bates Theatre, London

2010 A Year of Waiting: cumulative durational performance and textile

2009 Sly Fox (Uncertainty Principle): performance for a private home, commissioned for Home Delivery, Oxford

2009- Knitted Month: cumulative performance and textile series (ongoing)

2008 Suspend: sound installation and interactive performance commissioned for Up the Wall, Chester

2008 Ravel: Knitting a Row: site-specific durational performance commissioned for 'Roam the Rows', Chester

2008 Undergrowth: site-specific marked trail and artist-led walk commissioned for Camberwell Arts Festival

2008 Ravel: Tree Line: site-specific durational performance, El Paso, Texas

2007 Second Skin (reworking): durational performance commissioned for Coastal Currents, Hastings

2007 audience : hearing: sound and video installation in collaboration with John Levack Drever. UK and international touring

2006- Knitting a Rothko: cumulative durational performance and textile: Fold Gallery, Cumbria; El Paso, Texas; Houston, Texas; London; Lisburn, Northern Ireland

2006 Ravel: durational site-specific performance, Camberwell Arts Festival

2006 Line Drawn Between the Inbreath and the Outbreath: durational performance. London; Leeds

2005- audience: one-to-one performance and CD project. Winner of New Work Network Networked Bodies Award. Cambridge; Colchester; Exeter; South London Gallery, London; Bregenz (Austria); Falmouth; Limerick (Ireland); Windsor; Szczecin (Poland); Southampton

2003 Self-Portrait: video/performance installation: Century Gallery, London; 291 Gallery, London

2003 Artery: site-specific installation at the Brunswick Centre, London WC1

2002 In the Beginning...: group performance. Camden People's Theatre, London; Fierce, Warwick; Queen Mary, University of London

2002 Still Point, Turning World: video installation. Coed Hills Rural Artspace, Glamorgan; London; Hull

2001-2 Stillspace 1, 2: durational performance for urban or rural locations; Québec; VAIN, Oxford; Cardiff city centre; Coed Hills Rural Artspace, Glamorgan; Area 10, London

2000 Weaving Ghosts: 24-hour site-specific performance, Clubland, London SE5

2000 Second Skin: durational performance. Brighton, London

1998- Longshore Drift: durational performance. New Works Festival, Leicester; also performed in Nottingham, Hull, Lancaster and London

Residencies and exhibitions

2016 CAAKE (Collaborative Arts and Kinetic Environments), Readings in Passage: group residency and exhibition/installation, Sperrin Mountains and R-Space at the Linen Rooms, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

2014 Over Time: group exhibition of work made in response to time spent on Greenwich foreshore, Stephen Lawrence Gallery and National Maritime Museum

2014 The Walking Encyclopaedia: group exhibition of artists’ work with walkling, airSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent

2012 The Memory of Yarn: solo exhibition of knitting performance and traces, R-Space at the Linen Rooms, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

2012 Without Walls: Collaboration with Charlotte Mew, commissioned by Chisenhale Art Place/Chisenhale Dance Space

2012 Constructing Spaces: group artists’ residency at Construction Gallery, Tooting, London

2010 Holding Time: performance and textile in group exhibition about objects created through time-based process, Bhavan Centre, London

2008-09 UnKnitting: Challenging Textile Traditions: performance, knitting, work on paper and performance documentation in group exhibition at the Rubin Center for Visual Arts, El Paso, Texas; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Texas

2007 Delineate: performance and drawing in group exhibition about line, Patrick Studios, Leeds

2006 Teetotum: group artists’ residency at Fold Gallery, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

2006 Vanishing Points: international group artists' residency, Shelagh Wakely studio, London

2005 The Bridge Project: Artist in residence at Queen Mary, University of London

2004 The Listening Body: commissioned research project with Viv Corringham, exploring listening and stillness as sources for improvisation; Chisenhale Dance Space, London E3

2004 2-month residency with choreographer Lola Lince, Guanajuato, Mexico

2003 Locator: Out of the Woods: group artists' residency led by Simon Whitehead, Pembrokeshire; sponsored by Dance 4 for NOW Festival

2003 54° North: group exhibition, Hull

2003 Visions of Space and Sanctuary: Artists' responses to the Brunswick Centre: group site-specific exhibition/project, Brunswick Centre, London WC1

2002 Ancient Futures: group artists' residency with 18 international artists, Coed Hills Rural Artspace

2001 Still Moving: commissioned research project investigating stillness as performance, Chisenhale Dance Space, London E3

2001 The Nature of Threshold: joint artists’ residency with Simon Whitehead at Boréal Art/Nature, Québec, Canada

1999 Solo Together: commissioned research project investigating solo process; Chisenhale Dance Space, London E3

2004-2008 Artist Associate at Chisenhale Dance Space

Collaborations and performance credits

2016 Cloudworkers: Strange Names Collective, dir. Philip Stanier. London

2016 Interactive performance with Lucille Power, Duckie Gay Shame, London

2014 Pour It On: performance film by Richard Heslop with music by New Build

2014 The Panel: collaborative dance project directed by Jia-Yu Cort, London

2014 Collaboration with Noemi Lakmaier, researching durational performance: ChoreoLAB, Bournemouth

2012 These Associations: Tino Seghal, Tate Modern Unilever Commission: performer

2012 Prologue: Strange Names Collective, dir. Philip Stanier; Winchester, Cardiff

2011 A Beautiful Thing: group performance by Barnaby Stone, Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, Battersea Arts Centre

2009 The Gathering Storm: Strange Names Collective, dir. Philip Stanier. Camden People’s Theatre, London

2008 Gratitude of Monsters: Strange Names Collective, dir. Philip Stanier. Leeds, Manchester, national touring

2007 Repeat After Me: Strange Names Collective, dir. Philip Stanier, Leeds

2007 Bridge: site-specific performance, dir. Sarah Spanton. Situation Leeds festival

2006 The Alien: visual theatre production directed by Matti Braun, chor. Henrietta Hale. Laban Centre, London

2005 02-12 Tracks: 12-day walking performance project directed by Christine Quoiraud, Brittany, France

2005 Testimonial: Strange Names Collective, dir. Philip Stanier. Chelsea Theatre

2004 Unboiled Egg: performance piece devised in collaboration with Jackie Adkins and Rainer Knupp, Chisenhale Dance Space

2004 Reading One Million Years: 7-day performed reading of On Kawara's One Million Years, Trafalgar Square, London (curated by South London Gallery)

2004 Beguiled: Company Solas, chor. Monica Argenton and Linda Remahl; The Place, London

2003 Pieces of People: site-specific performance at the Henry Moore Foundation sculpture park, Hertfordshire, dir. Gary Stevens

2003 Slow Life: video installation and performance, dir. Gary Stevens, Matt's Gallery, London E3

2002 Mutations: chor. Marie-Gabrielle Rotie; London (Nov. 2002) and UK touring

2002 Bacchai, dir. Sir Peter Hall, National Theatre, London and touring. Antichorus

2000 embroyder: chor. Philipp Gehmacher; London and international touring

2000 Emerge: dir. Sarah Spanton. Site-specific performance, Waterstone's, Leeds

1999-2002 Collaboration with Rebecca Skelton in research into improvisation as performance

1996-2000 GroundEffect Physical Theatre. I Have Nothing to Report (1997), What Was... (1998), chor. Aneta Novak-Marcus. London, national and international touring

1997-98 Life is Sweet: Lulu's Living Room, chor. Marianne Rouvier-Angeli; London

Film and video work

2016 Confessions to the MIrror, dir. Sarah Pucill - translator

2014 Pour It On, dir. Richard Heslop, music New Build

2013 Magic Mirror, dir. Sarah Pucill – translator

2004 Spatial Arrangement, dir. Sarah Spanton – performer

1998 Degrees of Distance, dir. Marion Michell – performer

1998 Swollen Stigma, dir. Sarah Pucill – performer and production assistant

1997 Perpetual Present, dir. Marion Michell – performer


2010- Teaching on undergraduate courses, Queen Mary, University of London

2001- Workshops in movement, bodywork and performance in UK and internationally


2010- AHRC-funded PhD research at Queen Mary, University of London

2008-2010 MA Performance, Queen Mary, University of London

1995-1997 Professional Diploma in Dance Studies, Laban Centre for Movement and Dance