Rachel Perry’s Halos are selected from an on-going series of 445 unique abstract drawings. While Artist-in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2014, Rachel Perry counted every halo that appears in the collection, coming up with a total of 445. Inspired by the delicate series of gilded dots forming the halo in Botticelli’s painting Virgin and Child, Perry began Halos, a series of small constellation-like drawings.
Using a long Braille punch, normally employed by the blind to make a freehand map, Perry makes 445 embossed dots on each sheet of paper. Each dot is then numbered from one to 445 in minuscule graphite writing. Finally, each of these points is gold-leafed by hand, serving as an abstract reference to the halos in the museum collection and the concept of representing light. Appropriating the iconography of a centuries-old artistic language and the tool of a language developed for the sightless, the artist has developed her own unique system to reference the celestial.