Rachel Phillips



Rachel Phillips began photography while completing her undergraduate degree in creative writing at Skidmore College, graduating in 2005. In numerous group and solo exhibitions across the country she has presented a series of projects exploring the photograph as object and incorporating photography with writing, printmaking and bookmaking. A frequent theme in the work is a desire to “reanimate” the vernacular photographs and paper ephemera in her collection by reworking them in a variety of ways to create imagery that is resonant with the past yet has a renewed vitality reflective of our own time and perspective. In addition to being an artist, Rachel works in the San Francisco Bay Area as a tutor for children with learning differences.


My work “Ghost Light Theaters” triangulates between photography, film and theater—all three mysterious and evocative spaces where stories are captured and retold told in the dark, oftentimes taking on a life of their own beyond the intentions of their creators. Each zine, envisioned as a rendition of a short film or play, is created from a blend of fantasy Art Deco theater architecture, shadowy silhouettes, fragments from vernacular snapshots and a snippet of writing hinting at plot. The series began as a set of tabletop Art Deco theaters which I designed and built to house multiple-exposure photographs depicting scenes caught in moments of suspended animation from a larger narrative. For much more, please visit my website.

A ghost light is a single bulb left illuminated near center stage when a theater is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark. Superstition holds that a ghost light provides opportunity for the resident ghosts of the theater to perform onstage when everyone else has left for the night.


Ghost Light Theaters Zine Trio. Three 5x8 inch zines with 12 pages in each, housed in a custom stamped thread and button envelope measuring 7x9 inches. Two color risograph printing with metallic gold risograph cover and saddle stitch binding. Signed and numbered edition of 100 sets. Copyright Rachel Phillips, 2020.

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