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Portrait Of A Local Artist – Rachel Fenner

Portrait-of-a-local-artist-Rachel-FennerAward winning artist and sculptor Rachel Fenner has been visiting the Purbecks since she was a student. Portrait-of-a-local-artist-Summer_Remembered

“I find the landscape very inspiring,” says Rachel, who has continually revisited the area for more than 50 years.

She had always had a desire to become an artist since childhood, which ultimately led her to study at the Royal College of Art from where she graduated from in 1966.

“I did a two year Foundation Diploma followed by a National Diploma in Design at Wimbledon School of Art,” explains Rachel. “I then won a place at the Royal College of Art to study for four years on the postgraduate ARCA course.”

Portrait-of-a-local-artist-Unstable-Rock-ArchOn leaving Rachel became a full-time professional artist, which was quite a feat for a woman at that time when like in many areas of life, art was male dominated.

Career highlights include winning the prestigious Sainsbury Award in 1966, having her first solo show in London in 1976, then being appointed as the City Sculptor for Portsmouth in 1979, and being commissioned for the Jubilee sculpture in Winchester in 2003.

Born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, Rachel now lives in Hampshire. She retired from public art in 2004 to focus on painting and now works almost entirely as a painter. Her paintings follow the Modernist tradition of English Romantic Abstraction and are largely inspired by the coastal landscapes of Pembrokeshire and Dorset. She has regularly exhibited her paintings in London since 1992. “These landscape paintings draw upon the physicality of landscape rather than simply being paintings of landscapes,” says Rachel. “In this sense they have become abstract and have assimilated the language of the geometrical forms that underpin much of my environmental sculpture.”