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Rachel Glass

MA work

Abstract Negotiations of Intimacy

Abstract Negotiations of Intimacy

This project investigates the real life experience of touch juxtaposed against a psychological narrative, which considers the body as a singular entity in the world. Touch is not just a haptic contact but an emotional bond between ourself and our world. 

The skin functions as our threshold. It encapsulates us in and allows us to communicate out. Without touch a ‘void’ emerges - the interaction between body and world become detached. Seeking out platonic human-to-human touch in unconventional and abstract ways has become a resultant ramification for living in a culture of touch deprivation.

An emporium of touch has been established and commodity created within a societal imbalance making it possible to go to ‘fill up’ on what should be, but no longer exists as an instinctive interaction for many. Reclaiming the skin is at the core of the embodied experience confronted at these ever-growing in popularity, cuddle parties; for touch is that which ‘permeates the entire body.’ Considering conscious touch in such an environment allows it to once again be placed at the very centre; where the other senses and experiences that are often at the forefront of our existence, flow out from and through it. 

The gesture of touch is performed within a group dynamic as they coalesce into one body, working to ensure maximum gratification of the self.  

The portraits divulge where the distinction between inside and out, person and world can become indistinguishable, rooted in the present-day. They sit with photographs which are more intentionally literal representations of sociological experiments then further contrasted against haptically charged elements of when emotion and touch collide. 


  • Rachel Glass
  • MA Degree


    School of Arts & Humanities


    MA Photography, 2018

  • Rachel Glass (b.1993, Northern Ireland) currently based in London. She graduated from Photography in Ulster University Belfast 2014. Living and making work in Northern Ireland until attending the RCA. Her practise is conceptual (and often autobiographical) exploring ideas of experience, and identity. Photographing different subjects to illustrate these ideas, with performative aspects to the work. In 2015 her project 'The Domestic Aviary' was included in the British Journal of Photography One's to Watch Issue. This work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and festivals including Format Festival 17' Habitat.
  • Degrees

  • BA Photography, University of Ulster, 2014
  • Experience

  • Volunteer, Belfast Exposed, Belfast, 2016; Co-founder, The Fringe Photo Festival Belfast, 2013; Volunteer Facilitator, University of Ulster, 2016; Facilitator, Belfast Photo Festival Youth Edition, 2016
  • Exhibitions

  • Belfast Fringe Festival, Belfast, 2013; Open Minds, University of Ulster, Belfast, 2014; Backlight Photo Festival, Tempere Finland, 2014; Royal Ulster Academy of Arts, Belfast, 2014; Royal Dublin Society Student Art Awards Exhibition, Dublin, 2014; UK tertiary student photography, The 14th China Pingyao International Photography Festival, China, 2014; Jill Todd Photographic Award Exhibition, Streetlevel Photoworks, Glasgow, 2014; Barcelona International Photography Awards, Barcelona, 2015; The Domestic Aviary, Framewerk Gallery, Belfast 2015; Visualising the Animal, Carlisle Photo Festival, Carlisle 2015; British Journal of Photography "One's to Watch," Rencontres d'Arles, 2015; Nine Lives, Design Museum, London, 2015; WIP Show Royal College of Art, London, 2017; Habitat, Format Festival, Derby, 20
  • Awards

  • Lens Based Art Award, 2014, Royal Dublin Society,; The Inaugural Jill Todd University of Ulster Photography Award, 2014; Royal Ulster Academy of Arts Award for Outstanding Students, 2014; Commendation from Jill Todd Photographic Award, 2014; Barcelona International Photography Awards Finalist, 2015
  • Publications

  • Tom Seymore, Rachel Glass- The Domestic Aviary, British Journal of Photography Ones to Watch, 2015