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The Thrill of It

Posted on 6 February 2023

A bold new photography exhibition reframes the female nude to celebrate moments from sporting history

A startling new photography exhibition opens next month (APRIL) - using the power of the contemporary, female nude to celebrate key moments from motor racing history.

Created by artist, Rachael Clegg, the black and white show combines potent, original imagery with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the sport and passion for visual storytelling. In Clegg’s work, every image depicts a factual story from history, shot at the exact location as where the original event took place. 

Her pictures famously fuse fact and fantasy, using her own, naked form as a dynamic prop to create images described as ‘bold and beguiling’.

Clegg is keen to revitalise the nude as a non-erotic form, reclaiming a sense of ownership over the female shape and its use.

Born into a motor racing family - her father and grandfather were both acclaimed riders - she enjoys a long fascination with the motor sport world.

The exhibition features images shot at two of the world’s most dangerous circuits; the Isle of Man TT and the Nürburgring course, in Germany.

As Clegg says: “I enjoy the mischievous interplay with the nude and the story behind each pic-ture. Many of the shots are taken on live roads (the TT takes place on public roads) so there’s a sense of danger to the work too."

“I was brought up in a family of TT racers so the TT course has always been hallowed ground to me. The images pay homage to the pursuit of the thrill of being be the fastest - and surviv-ing. The exhibition is a celebration of risk in a risk-averse world.” 

The exhibition follows the release of Clegg’s first photobook, Rachael Clegg Book 1: the Isle of Man TT (OCULUM).

About the artist 

Rachael Clegg is an acclaimed visual storyteller, using original images and artefacts to docu-ment and re-frame key moments from cultural and sporting history.

The daughter and granddaughter of Isle of Man TT racers Noel Clegg and Tom Clegg, she at-tended art school before studying art history and has enjoyed a long association with Tate Liverpool.

Recent subjects include motorsport, rocket science and rock and roll, via a creative process grounded in meticulous first-hand research, fastidious prop hunting and reams upon reams of sketches.

Clegg has worked closely with former Aljazeera correspondent, Peter Greste and veteran pho-tographer, Ian Parry on her photographic projects.

Instagram/Twitter: @clegg.rachael
Facebook: @RachaelCleggArtist

About the exhibition

THE THRILL OF IT runs from April 15 - April 22, 2023 at the Proud Gallery
32 John Adam St, London WC2N 6BP
Entry is free (booking not required)

For further images and/or interview requests please contact:
Rachael Clegg email: