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Rachel Kneebone: The Dance Project

Striving to represent the complexity and ambiguity of the human body in movement, British artist Rachel Kneebone is known for her white porcelain works of 'sculptural choreography'.

Inspired by themes of transformation and renewal, Kneebone's complex sculptures are concerned with what it means to inhabit a body, exploring the physical limitations and possibilities of the human form.

“I am excited at the opportunity to work with the two distinct materials and disciplines of porcelain and dance. My aim is to explore what is shared between the two: the overlaps through body and movement; the formal language, speeds, directions, push and pull, stillness and movement, poise and tension with softness and repose; and, how they differ through their materiality.

It is said that 'to dance is to exist for but a moment' and as an art form it's harmonious with our temporal life cycle, whilst my sculptures capture and make permanent what is only ever in a state of flux.”

Rachel Kneebone

For her exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale Art Gallery, Kneebone made an entirely new body of sculptures and drawings, as well as realising a long-held ambition to create a piece of contemporary dance in response to her sculpture.

Working with women drawn from across the Borough of Rochdale over five months, Kneebone and professional choreographer TC Howard developed a piece of dance theatre that expressed the local residents' personal stories. The piece was performed at the exhibition's opening in the grand setting of Rochdale Town Hall to a packed and deeply moved audience, the culmination of an intense and amazing journey.

“We all have our epic everyday tales of life; we have stories to tell and our bodies can tell them when words aren’t always enough. We dance who we are.”

TC Howard

The Henry Moore Foundation awarded £7,000 towards this exhibition.

Rachel Kneebone: The Dance Project opened at Touchstones Rochdale Art Gallery on 19 October 2018 until 12 January 2019. For more information see

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