Ione examines the historical gender role of the female while poking fun at antiquated views and capturing a world of lost innocence and sexual awakening. She disengages the historical idea of female portraiture as decoration without feeling the need to defend the body from being an object of desire.
There’s an autobiographical element to her work, which displays aspects of her experience of being a woman – coming of age, rites of passage, motherhood and the birth of her first child.
Her women always appear commanding and powerful, yet there’s a sense of intimacy to her images, which are not always easy to look at – the viewer becomes voyeur and at once experiences intrigue and repulsion.
Although Ione’s work takes the form of a photograph, it’s the choice of subject, relationship with the model, collecting and devising the props, painting the backdrop, that create the depth and nuance to her work, all part of ‘making the emotion visible through the physical’.
Ione’s costuming of female sexuality intertwined with primal nature, is honest. Exotic, bizarre and strange, they are saturated with self-expression, rich in narrative and filled with tension.
Ione has also been invited to take part in art festival Art Kyiv Contemporary, which takes place in November, for the opening of the Kiev Art Arsenal, the new museum and exhibition complex in Kiev, Ukraine.
• Silent Companions will be at the White Square Gallery, Berlin from Friday, October 15 until Saturday, November 27.
(image: Ione Rucquoi’s Silent Companions II)
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