Rachel McDonnell is a painter whose major preoccupation is with the world around us: what we are doing to the environment, what the environment can do to and for us, and the relationship between art and the environment.
These concerns are reflected in paintings which try to capture the beauty and fragility of our surroundings, in an attempt to draw the viewer in, and perhaps prompt a thought or two about the subject of and ideas behind the painting.
Current work is inspired by a pre-lockdown visit to Finland, and a journey through the phenomenally beautiful Turku archipelago and Åland Islands with thoughts of sea level rise ever present.
After a Foundation Course in Fine Art at City & Guilds Art School, Rachel went on to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Anne’s College, Oxford, where she won a scholarship. Although she returned to painting after graduation, the ideas encountered at this time continue to influence her work.
Rachel has exhibited widely, with various solo shows in London, Belfast and the South West, as well as being part of the RA Summer Exhibition and RWA Opens, BEEP painting biennial, Wells Art Contemporary, and Derwent Art Prize. In 2021 she was shortlisted for the Jackson’s Painting Prize, and won the Landscape Prize at the Discerning Eye. Rachel lives near Stroud, Gloucestershire, with her family, where she is a part of the Walking the Land artist collective.