Ione Rucquoi’s visceral portraits capture a world of lost innocence and sexual awakening, exploring the disowned,
unconscious aspects of the self and highlighting the primal instincts of the human character and the beast within.
Rucquoi’s affinity with Jung’s psychological concept of ‘The Shadow’ allows her to move effortlessly among the
symbolic and darker characteristics of the psyche. Driven by the motivation to make emotion visible through the
physical, she explores fundamental elements of human existence and experience: birth,death, loss and change,
and brings the hidden and taboo to the forefront.
Rucquoi’s portraits are largely refractions of her own experience of being female, examining key rites of
passage – coming of age, pregnancy, motherhood – and exploring the dichotomies inherent in these changes
of state and status with frankness and humour. She frequently examines the historical female gender role,
playfully mocking antiquated or misogynistic views.
The finished pieces which exhibit a strong legacy of Renaissance portraiture, take the form of photographs.
But for Rucquoi the process of composing the image through conceptual and physical layering is as important
as the composition itself. Her works come into being through her individual relationship with the model,
collecting and devising props and prostheses and directly painting the backdrop and model. She presents a bizarre
and elegant melange of costume,colour, and textile, where the human figure is juxtaposed with internal organs and animal forms.
In the tradition of the surrealists, and in a society often governed by reason and inhibition, Rucquoi seeks to liberate
uncensored fears, anxieties and obsessions, heightening awareness of the ‘Shadow side’.
Her objective is to create work which serves as a vessel for emotion and elicits a subjective and personal response in the viewer.
To meet the candid gaze of one of her models is to share in a quiet, private moment.