Medium or Discipline/art genre: Fine Art / Printmaking
Rachel was born in Hong Kong and grew up in England. In 2004 she saw Gyotaku prints for the first time when visiting Kobe, Japan. Intrigued by these images she was determined to find out more about their meaning and method of production. Rachel’s work began to change in both conceptual input and subject matter when she moved to Olhão, Portugal in 2005. In 2006 Rachel became a member of the Nature Printing Society and in 2014 a life-time member. Her interest in gyotaku and frustration at the lack of information about these techniques led to studying for a PhD (research led model) at the Faculdade de Belas Artes, Porto University, Portugal which she was awarded in 2015. Her thesis is entitled Gyotaku; Its Origins and Relationship with Art and Science.
Since graduating with a Master of Arts in Fine Art Printmaking from the Royal College of Art, London Rachel has regularly exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions across the world. A selection of prints and artists bookworks can be found in private and public collections including;
The Alexandria Library, Cairo, Egypt.
Biblioteca Municipal do Barreiro, Lisbon, Portugal.
Penang State Museum and Art Gallery, Malaysia.
Sakima Art Museum, Okinawa, Japan.
Tate Library & Archive Collection, Tate Britain, London, UK.
Victoria & Albert Museum, Collection of Prints and Drawings, London, UK.
I create hand-made prints which explore representations of flora and fauna, the concept of ‘nature’ and crucially its relationship to humanity. My work is influenced by Far Eastern and Portuguese cultures, natural history, the language of ornament and my interest in anthrozoology.
I use a variety of printmaking techniques and materials to make limited and variable editions, unique (one-off) prints, artists bookworks and installations. Aromas form an integral and crucial element of my installations.
The majority of my works are created using Gyotaku, traditional Japanese printmaking techniques which were originally used to record a fisherman’s prize catch. Fishes, other natural specimens and/or a man-made objects act as the print matrix which results in accurate and detailed impressions.