8 Nov - 16 Dec
Rachel McDonnell studied for her Fine Art Foundation at City and Guilds Art School, before a minor diversion to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford, sparking various interests which still permeate her work (not so much with the economics). After graduating she returned to her first love: painting.
In the intervening years she has exhibited widely, with several solo exhibitions in London, Belfast and throughout the South West. She has also been selected for numerous mixed exhibitions, including the RA Summer Exhibition, the RWA Open, Wells Art Contemporary, National Open Art Competition, where she won the Be Smart About Art Award, and Discerning Eye, where she won the Landscape Prize in 2021. She has also been shortlisted for various prizes including the BEEP painting prize, Derwent Art Prize, and Jackson’s Painting Prize.
Rachel is a member of the Walking the Land group of artists, and the RWA’s artist network. She lives near Stroud with her partner and their two children, two dogs, two gerbils, three hens, 5 goldfish and 34 stick insects.
For so long, the natural environment has been bigger than us. In recent centuries, however, the balance has shifted, and the impact of our actions upon the world have become all but overpowering. Rachel’s paintings seek to explore ideas about the places we are a part of, to celebrate the beauty and fragility of our environment, and its role as barometer and victim of what we are doing to the world which supports us.
More optimistically, Rachel also believes the environment itself may offer one of the best solutions to our global predicament, and that painting has a role to play in highlighting what’s going wrong and engaging people in making things right.