Rachel Clark's colour­ful works go on dis­play

Ab­stract artist on why she de­stroys her work be­fore it’s re­ally fin­ished

The Wharf - - Front Page - Olivia Palam­oun­tain

Ipaint be­cause it’s who I am – the mo­ti­va­tion is like liv­ing and breath­ing,” said ab­stract artist Rachel Clark. “But in­spi­ra­tion only comes from work­ing.”

Rachel has been paint­ing in her cur­rent stu­dio in the for­mer Spratt’s dog bis­cuit fac­tory on Lime­house Cut for 33 years and also runs life draw­ing classes from the space.

“I love this area,” she said. “But it’s changed so much over the years.

“There used to be a tar­mac fac­tory over the road where every­one con­gre­gated for lunch and Crisp Street mar­ket was full of proper East En­ders.

“The stalls were run by gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily – it was the sort of place where every­one knew your name.”

Rachel will be ex­hibit­ing a se­lec­tion of her work in the Ca­nary Wharf Win­dow Gal­leries un­til De­cem­ber 1 along­side a show at her stu­dio un­til De­cem­ber 3, where any­one is wel­come to drop in.

“I travel through Ca­nary Wharf ev­ery day and I re­ally like it,” she said. “Some of the stu­dents who come to my life draw­ing classes work there and a ma­jor col­lec­tor used to be based there, so I have a good re­la­tion­ship with it.”

Rachel has shown prints at Clif­ford Chance and has also ex­hib­ited at the Royal Academy Of Art, the Na­tional Por­trait Gallery and Cur­wen Gallery amongst oth­ers.

Her work in the Win­dow Gal­leries and stu­dio show in­cludes paint­ings, lim­ited edi­tion prints and ce­ram­ics.

“I mainly paint in oil, which I love,” she said. “It’s or­ganic and tem­per­a­men­tal but the qual­ity of life within an oil paint­ing is sec­ond to none.

“I work in lay­ers, ap­ply­ing paint, over­paint­ing, scrap­ing it off and re-ap­ply­ing.

I work in lay­ers, ap­ply­ing paint, over­paint­ing, scrap­ing it off, re-ap­ply­ing it... but to ar­rive at the com­pleted work much has to be de­stroyed and re-worked Artist Rachel Clark

“The sur­faces are rich in colour and of­ten quite sump­tu­ous, but to ar­rive at the com­pleted work much has to be de­stroyed and re-worked.”

At her light-filled stu­dio many of Rachel’s prints and paint­ings are on dis­play, in­clud­ing Feast­ing On The Wind, a vi­brant art­work now star­ring in the Win­dow Gallery.

Her art costs from £100 for a print up to £20,000 for a large paint­ing. But who buys it?

“All sorts of peo­ple,” she said. “One com­pany wanted some­thing un­com­pro­mis­ing for their board­room be­cause they felt it re­flected the ad­ven­tur­ous­ness of their com­pany.

“But of­ten it’s peo­ple who want to own an orig­i­nal work of art in their of­fice or home and find they can have an end­less con­ver­sa­tion with a work of art.”

Rachel’s di­a­logue with her work is equally en­gaged.

“We have a bal­anced but lively re­la­tion­ship,” she said.

“Lis­ten­ing to what the paint­ing tells me it needs and de­cid­ing what I think it needs is like a bat­tle of wills with an inan­i­mate ob­ject – no won­der peo­ple think artists are ec­cen­tric or mad.”

Rachel’s stu­dio show will be open from Nov 24-26 and from Dec1-3. Go to rachelclark.com for more in­for­ma­tion.

Rachel Clark, Canada Place Win­dow Gal­leries, Ca­nary Wharf, un­til Dec 1, free, ca­nary­wharf.com

Thank You Wandsworth And Good­bye

Rachel in her stu­dio

Rid­dle Of Tim­nath

Frayed Edges

Feast­ing On The Wind

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