Rachael is an experimental textile and mixed media artist.
She has explored many fields such as ceramics, art journaling, landscape watercolours and the more traditional areas of embroidery and textiles which inform her current work. She finds a deep satisfaction in the synthesis of materials and ideas where her work brings together creative thought and practical engagement with materials.
Her inspiration comes largely from nature. Living in West Yorkshire, the larger landscape is both interesting and ever-changing, however, she is more often drawn to closer elements and uses photographs extensively to capture micro-landscapes and textures.
Layering is a central feature of her work with paint, papers, fabrics and threads being used to create cohesive yet complex surfaces. More recently, she has been exploiting the wet-strength properties of teabag paper which is present in much of her work.
Vintage materials, threads and papers are also sought and included. Simple stitch is used to create line, often developing monoprints and linking areas of design. Muted tones and limited palettes are a staple, however, she also enjoys vibrancy such as turquoise resting against rusty orange.
For our current textile exhibition, FIBRE, Rachael has been inspired by river stones.
Stone balancing is a regular activity in the shallows of the river at Hebden Bridge. This installation of Rachael’s celebrates the colours and textures of stones found in the region, those broken and transported by the river to the hands of the stone balancing artist, each one specially chosen.
Every river stone is made using tea and rust-dyed or painted cotton or silk. In much the same way as stones are tried with each other in the river, fabrics have been chosen and layered with care, most having additional hand or machine stitch to create texture and interest.
Each is unique and double-sided. The stones have been auditioned to sit pleasingly in a stack, but they can be re-stacked in a different order and turned around.
Rachael has made these balancing stones using tea and rust-dyed cotton and silk organza, acrylic paint, various threads, cotton batting, Decovil, wood.
Rachael leads workshops and attends national shows as a demonstrator where her passion is facilitating others to explore, experiment and nurture their artistic voice. You can follow her lovely feed over on Instagram.