Sheila and Rachel combine for Chichester exhibition

Colour Soul offers an exhibition of work by Rachel Foister and Sheila McGrath-Hayward at The Wilton Gallery, The Oxmarket Centre of Arts, St Andrews Court, Chichester from July 11-17.

Tuesday, 12th July 2016, 8:38 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 2:27 am
South Downs by Sheila

Sheila explained: “We are both local artists who studied together at West Dean College’s Visual Arts Department for two years (2011-2013). My work is of topical relevance in that it is partly about my struggle (as an Australian) to immigrate here, and the emotional and physical toll that has taken.”

For this gallery show Rachel and Sheila have chosen to explore their differing responses to colour.

“Rachel explores conscious and subconscious, objective and subjective responses to colour which had leached from her life as a result of stress and trauma. Here it returns in a positive explosion of light, flickering and vibrating in sun drenched hues.”

For Sheila, colour fades and relative monochrome becomes a means to express pain, she says. However, her work continues to “explore light, presence and holiness”.

“Rachel has spent the past year working on an extensive research project inspired by her scientific background. Using her in-depth knowledge and practical experience of historical painting techniques and materials, she uses glazing and layering techniques, avoiding flat or opaque colours. Combined with the complexities of contemporary commercial paint and colour technology the works explore powerful depths and resonances. Each work is made of a large collection of smaller works, fitting together as a whole.

Rachel Foister studied the techniques, materials and methods of the early Renaissance at the Atelier Neo Medici in SW France before returning to the UK to complete her MFA. In her latest series of work, she has moved yet further from her training in realism and super-realism – “moving beyond the confines of photography and readdressing the pro-found differences between this medium and pure painting.”

Her work has been shown in both France and the UK and is in private collections in the UK, France and Bermuda.

Sheila studied fine art at the University of Sydney and recently completed an MA through the University of Sussex. Her work is in private collections in Australia, USA, Switzerland, Ireland and UK.

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