I make and perform sculptures that are also playable instruments and tools. I perform these solo, with multiple participants and a wider group of collaborators through scored cycles of making, improvisation and adaptation. The resulting soundscapes are characterised by moments of focus, humour, ferocity, generosity and struggle. I use wide-ranging technologies, combining these with developed techniques of improvisation.
Each sculpture has unique inbuilt spatial properties of sound, movement, materials and intention for shared use. They are informed by ancient musical instruments, the ritualistic and hypnotic material processes of artisan labour and artistic work, aquatic life forms and collective architecture.
In Coil of Days (2019/20), a series of rituals and non-formal negotiations evolve between a group of women. They use the instruments as their tools to sense and shape different spaces within which they strive to listen to and be heard. In Wool Matrix (2014/5), the collective task of a group of knitters results in the saturation and pace of evolving audiovisuals characterised by the rhythms of their shared work.
I completed my MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College in 2009 and since then presented at residencies, performances and exhibitions internationally. In 2015, I was awarded the Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award, a major Acme Residency & Award funded by The Henry Moore Foundation, Royal Opera House, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps’ family where I presented two complex architectural-scale installations performed with residents.
In 2020 I was commissioned by Melanie Stidoplh to create a publicly played sculpture and performance for Late at Tate St Ives in response to the Naum Gabo exhibition (this work has been postponed). This year I led a public workshop for the online programme of Open School East.
In 2019 I performed at Archway Sound Symposium at The Bomb Factory and presented a score as part of an exhibition of artists’ scores at Five Years Gallery in London. I completed the film, sculpture and performance titled Coil of Days, of a series of sonic sculptures that I have been building and developing with dancers, performers and the public for the last three years. In 2019 I was also nominated for The Arts Foundation Futures Awards in Experimental Music by the electronic musician and recording artist Nik Colk Void.
“What first struck me about Rita’s work was its fearlessness about using wide-ranging technologies, combining the sophisticated with improvisatory and spontaneous practice. Her drawings showed a real similarity to the freedom, quirkiness, humour and enquiry intrinsic to Stephen Cripps’ sketches.” Anne Bean, Artist, Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award panel, 2015
“Rita stood out as an artist who was very motivated and spoke and illustrated a number of projects that were often ‘off the beaten track’. She already seemed to be wholeheartedly committed, with a number of engaging ideas, for projects that were well-orchestrated in her mind for Thurrock, the local environment and those who live and work there.” Ron Haselden, Artist, Stephen Cripps’ Studio Award panel, 2015
Installation of Poly Pipes in Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity Project Space, 2018. Photo Vikki Wiercinski.