At 15 years old, Rachel was told by her high school art teacher that art could actually be a career. This was the greatest news of her life. From that moment on, Rachel dedicated herself to gaining entry to the Dunedin School of Art to study for a Bachelor of Fine Arts. With great excitement, Rachel became a Scarfie in 2002 and began her Fine Art journey.
Rachel graduated in 2005 with a BFA majoring in Photography. Along the way she toyed with the idea of becoming a sculptor, and really loved painting too, but it was photography that captured her heart and mind, and after graduating, she set up her own photography business in Dunedin, NZ in 2006.
All her work at art school was based on common themes that kept emerging. Finding meaning in suffering, forging identity, and seeing beauty in brokenness. Her muses were not so much other artists, but writers and thinkers, like Viktor Frankl, Kahlil Gibran, Paulo Coelho and Carl Jung.
Rachel always wanted her work to be about more than the thing pictured. She loves metaphor, concepts, and relishes in making words and ideas visual.
It is rather incredible now, as she works with health professionals about effective communication, how much her Fine Art background is helping make strategic concepts, models and systems come alive visually.
Rachel has achieved highly with her photography and was awarded the NZIPP Wedding Photographer of the Year 2011, awarded NZIPP Fellow status in 2014 and has won numerous national and international awards for her photography. As well as being featured in art exhibitions and gallery spaces.
She has a number of bodies of work - some of which are featured here and are available for purchase.
The Hugh Mouse Series: The “Hugh Mouse Series” intentionally challenges the viewer to consider the smallest things as being of value and having meaning. These creatures, often seen as pests and rodents, have been elevated, even in death by Rachel’s natural ability to find beauty in unexpected places and honouring life, no matter how small. “Hugh Mouse” plays on the word posthumous and encourages the viewer to see beyond the conventional, beyond fear, to find humour, fun and to celebrate a life well lived.
Paint and Pixels: Inspired by colour, the stars, Carl Sagan’s writings about the cosmos and universes dwelling within us, Rachel’s paintings celebrate the effect that water, paint and ink molecules have when they meet and touch paper.
Circles and Birds: " Rachel photographs iconic New Zealand landscapes featuring different kinds of birds, (or flying things) creating an element of whimsy and life."