Research Assistant / Maker
Mixed Media + Textile Artist
“I am as much
the process and
creativity as the
end product and I
recognise that this
a central part of
what motivates me
in my art-making.”
I am a textile and mixed media artist but I have been a maker since a small child. Over the years I have explored many fields such as ceramics, art journalling, landscape watercolours and the more traditional areas of embroidery and textiles. I have found that my love for paper has lured me back time and again, demanding its inclusion in my work.
I am deeply interested in synthesis – the bringing together of ideas and materials to create something new and cohesive. I recognise that having explored so much, I am at my happiest when working with mixed media and layers. I am as much interested in the process and thinking behind creativity as the end product and I recognise that this meta-cognition is a central part of what motivates me in my art making.
The pursuit of an idea, to its outworking and abstraction drives me once resolved, there is an anticlimax of sorts. I have no formal training in the arts, never even taking art at school. However, I have thirst for learning and have taught myself through the wide variety of channels available such as courses, digital media and books. What I treasure the most is being able to discuss the creative process with peers.
My inspiration often comes from the natural landscape and the love of natural surface texture and design. I live in West Yorkshire looking over to the Pennines, and the landscape is both interesting and ever changing. However, I am often drawn to the smaller things around me. I use photographs extensively to build a catalogue of inspiration, to connect ideas and to record the process of making. This process is primarily what I write about on my blog which I have kept for the last five years. Architectural decay and walls, literal and psychological, are occupying my thoughts and work presently. In such a beautiful area of the country it is inevitable that landscape keeps whispering, as it has done all my life…
I enjoy natural fibres, papers, and mark-making. Simple stitch is used to create line for the most part, often developing mono-prints and linking surfaces. Muted tones and limited palettes are a staple, however, I also enjoy vibrancy such as turquoise resting against rusty orange.
More recently, I have been exploiting the wet-strength properties of teabag paper which is present in much of my work and is available as a waste product. I enjoy the use of vintage materials, threads and papers in my work which are often sourced from a weekly secondhand market or family and friends.
I am privileged to lead workshops and attend shows as a demonstrator where I gain a huge sense of pleasure from facilitating others’ creativity and learning. I am a teacher and consultant by profession and continue to work full-time in educational management where I champion the arts wherever possible. These opportunities have greatly diminished over the years and I am thrilled to be part of the Maker Project 2019 which will examine the processes and skills involved in creativity.
Rachael is working collaboratively with Krystyna Pomeroy for the Maker Project.