Rachel Hanlon holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts), and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), for which she was awarded the Vice Chancellors Award for her Honours Thesis. She is currently a PhD candidate at Deakin University where her art practice examines how found materials, cultural 'objects' in particular, that were once significant to a generation simply as technological devices, may surpass their intended purpose and be used to evolve (transform) into another 'thing' altogether. Her installations make available the many layered metaphors and meanings that are brought about through using reinterpretations of obsolete technologies, which are heightened by our cultural reliance on them as a part of the narrative of our times. Hanlon's present PhD research into the telephone examines the complex intersections that emerge among the past and the present, self expression and collective forms of communication. The point of interrogating these intersections is to reveal how an object can be used as a literal transformation point in the construction of a metaphor for cultural evolution, opening up a dialogue between their original ideas and meanings, and what makes up the 'thingness' these objects possess.
Her research sits within the parameters of media archaeology, utilising the methodology of ethnography and practice-led creative research.