A painting asks questions of itself, of ourselves and how we perceive the world.
Recent paintings are concerned with connection and dissociation. They are a response to working in the Contemporary Dance world and then the Contemporary Art Industry for two decades: rehearsals, performance, staging, choreographing, curating, selling, then posting about it, and so on. The Art Fair, the Hypermarket- sized Gallery, a conveyor-belt for Galleries and Artists measured in units by sales, likes and more followers. Social Media media diverts us from the truth, the Artist becomes a commodity, or worse still, brands themselves. ?
A background in dance and performance taught me that I'm a kinesthetic learner. I had an extensive training in Contemporary Dance, from GCSE level at School, to a Degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Dance performance informs my practice, which is process-based, this way I'm open to impulse and discover my subject as I paint, destroying and recovering images as I go along.
At the start of painting I begin with an action not an idea. One impulse might be to throw a jar of dirty turpentine at the canvas. The dripping liquid, forms shapes with suggest body parts or objects, which I draw around in charcoal or paint.
Both mixed media and oil pieces go through several stages of change and are often obliterated. My life experience is my body of knowledge and I’ll probably continue to work-out the painting 'on the page', so to speak.
I admire skill in painting, how couldn’t I be overwhelmed with the work of thousands of talented artists working all around the globe, and through the ages, all beamed to me instantly by google? It’s a wonder I’m still standing. Innovation in the way Art is made, staged and viewed, and the speed of it all, is staggering.
I learned from performing that it’s very possible to possess the highest technical skill and still not have that certain something in your work, such as emotion or spirit. I aim to make paintings that are emphatic and elusive. ?
Preoccupied Woman Series
?The ‘Preoccupied Woman’ paintings continue to emerge, there are over 10 in various shapes and forms. These are concerned with Painting itself, the way in which women and still life have been portrayed throughout the history of painting. They point to a distracted universal woman, who has moved on from traditional representation and is defiant about not meeting the white male gaze with her own. In these I'm steeping what might initially seem ordinary and arbitrary in withdrawal and defiance.
Born in East London in 1972 Rachael Read (also known as Rain) studied at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. She spent several years touring internationally as a Contemporary dancer whilst working as Head of Dance at Coventry University Performing Arts. On moving to Bath in 2002 Rachael concentrated on the directorship of Edgar Modern Gallery. In 2004 she began creating paintings based on her interior life. Her paintings are also about us, our despair and our strength.
Rachael moved back to East London in February 2019.
Paintings are exhibited in London, Bath, Bristol, Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Hamptons NY, Toronto, Hong Kong and Singapore, held in Private Collections and by the Ministry of Culture, Egypt.