Rachel Clark's colourful works go on display
Abstract artist on why she destroys her work before it’s really finished
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
Feasting On The Wind