Paintings, Drawings, Objects

Collaborative Work

Creatura Collective & Rachael McHan

Creatura Collective is Rachael McHan, Kristin Althoff and Kristina Carr.

'Reaching for Catharsis", by the Creatura Collective. 2015.

Excerpt from the essay Reaching for Catharsis by Roxanne Gay;

“It makes perfect sense that many of us obsess over our bodies. There is nothing more inescapable. Our bodies move us through our lives. They bring pleasure and pain. Sometimes our bodies serve us well, and other times our bodies become terribly inconvenient. There are times when our bodies betray us or our bodies are betrayed by others. I think about my body all the time—how it looks, how it feels, how I can make it smaller, what I should put into it, what I am putting into it, what has been done to it, what I do to it, what I let others do to it. This bodily preoccupation is exhausting… I don’t think I know any woman who doesn’t hate herself and her body at least a little bit. Bodily obsession is, perhaps, a human condition because of its inescapability.”


After reading this passage we came to the realization that each of us have ritualistic self absorbed actions directed towards our bodies, which we initially assumed to be a solitary experience. As we discovered the ways in which we are obsessed with our bodies, we formulated this piece in response to the fear... standing alone, in a room, with a camera and a mirror, we are pitching our stories to the public. There are many thoughts that command attention as we look in the mirror—if only these few things were different, would we be happy? 

Reaching for Catharsis is an attempt to face these fears head on, to let it go, to understand the illogical nature of these actions against our bodies, to confront the pain that is deeper than surface appearances, and to learn to accept and be kind to the vessels that carry us through life.

'Anatomical', by the Creatura Collective. 2014.

Tim Lowly & Rachael McHan

"Temma's [object]", Rachael McHan & Tim Lowly © 2013, graphite and ink on Schoellershammer board mounted to MDF, 6" x 6" This is a collaborative project that focuses on objects from the life of Tim's daughter Temma. In the fall of 2013 Chicago artist Rachael McHan worked as one of Temma's care-givers. While we had been friends for quite a while and she has been acquainted with Temma, her recent experience informed her understanding of Temma and the role of these objects in her life. 
The procedure for this work was as follows:
1) We chose an object (that is part of Temma's daily world) that we were interested in working with.
2) Rachael started the piece, working either from the actual object or a photograph that she has taken of it. She worked on the piece until she was ready to pass it on.
3) Tim worked on the image until it said hello.