A passionately driven individual Rachel Alleyne is always striving to produce one better. The desire to visually reproduce a reflection of her own emotional response to a landscape or object drives her to seek the ultimate response from herself and the viewer. "I believe that if an artist is always complacent about the work they produce, perhaps they are blinkered to where they really should be." She says, explaining, "I am not at all stating that if you are always pleased with your work you should be ashamed, but I feel you, as the serious artist, should be your first and most harsh critic."
"Is not the whole point of painting as a medium to allow the canvas to speak for itself?" Say's Rachel Alleyne. "Approach my work with naked eyes." She says. "It does not pretend to be anything else other than colour, depth, space and form."
Following in the footsteps of some of the great artists in history, including, Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Uan Uglow, Paula Rego, William Coldstream, and Rachel Whiteread, Alleyne trained at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1992 - 1998. Finishing a degree in Fine Art painting in 1996, she went on to successfully complete an MA in Fine art painting in 1998, studying under Professor Bernard Cohen, Bruce McKlean, David Hepher, Cathy de Moncheaux, Andrew Stahl, Michael Newman, and Ian McKeever.
Looking back on her academic achievements Alleyne is still extremely proud of her grounding, and justifiable so. In 1992 when she applied to the Slade School of Fine Art there were approximately two thousand applicants, for a total of twelve places. "I was fortunate enough to gain a place on the Ba (Hons) degree, and then the Masters in Fine art degree. " Says Rachel Alleyne, implying that luck had a bearing on the course of Alleyne's 'fortune', and not as it were that the Slade gained an opportunity to expand and nurture a natural painting talent.
Alleyne began her young career as a formal figurative painter who spent an immeasurable amount of time studying from life. Although she now sees herself as an abstract artist, Alleyne feels that this period of formal figurative study will remain a significant influence on the way in which she sees feels and creates her paintings. "…you only have to look at Piet Mondrians early formal work." she says, adding, "This kind of intensity and formal figurative grounding stays with any painter throughout their life time." Producing abstract paintings for over ten years, Alleyne uses pure colour to reflect and define the mood of the piece. Having already prepared a smooth white primed canvas on which to work, she allows herself to be seduced by the ground and her painting mediums. From her landscapes and townscapes to her seascapes and still life painting her preference for Cadmium red and Phathalo turquoise unify her work.
A prolific visualiser, Rachel Alleyne carries her sketchbook with her at all times. "I always take a sketch book wherever I travel." she says. "This is not a chore but a choice." Devotedly sketching and documenting the world around her she admits, "It's absolutely compulsory and obsessive at times. If I have a bottle of water on the beach I will use it to wash the watercolour pigment from my brush. "Finding inspiration from the Landscape, Rachel mainly draws on the sea and water as direct source material. "I love the sea, the undulating forms and the many different colours and moods, often reflecting the sky."
Rachel Alleyne has won many awards, including, The 'Dolbey Travel Scholarship', which enabled her to travel and exhibit in Barbados, where she produced some of her finest seascape paintings. Her most notorious show to date, 'In Turner's Footsteps', was held at the Tate Britain Gallery, London, and celebrated the work of her contemporaries, and acknowledged the legacy of William Turner. Rachel Alleyne's work is in private collections across the UK and abroad.
To view Rachel Alleyne's work, general exhibition pages and to look at her biography please click here