First British Female Solo Artist at National Art Gallery Malaysia. “Instinct and Experiences” Solo Exhibition at the National Art Gallery.
“It’s as real achievement for Rachel Gray to be the first British female solo artist to exhibit in Malaysia’s National Visual Arts Gallery, particularly in this special year as the gallery marks its 60th anniversary. The historic Malaysian-British relationship is one of modern partnership and mutual respect. Exhibitions like these demonstrate how we can enrich both of our cultures in the spirit of collaboration. I hope that the artistic exchange embodied in today’s exhibition is something that will continue to flourish in both Malaysia and the UK”.
- David Thomas, Deputy British High Commissioner
Instinct and Experiences
Solo Exhibition by Rachel Gray
The title ‘Instinct and Experiences’ reflects the contrasts within this collection. At a general level it brings together traditional oil painting and contemporary digital art; my instincts as a painter and my experience as a digital artist. However these contrasts are also present in each of the individual works exhibited here. In both media and at a deeper level, I attempt to combine that which is instinctive and that which is drawn from experience.
Abstract Oil Paintings on Canvas
My oil works are inspired by my experiences in Malaysia and Asia as a whole. They are an attempt to express intangible moments and moods. To achieve this, I use vibrant colours, brush strokes and palette knives. I use the palate knife as I am fascinated with the broken stripe. Each as different and unique as a finger print. Initially, they appear straight and clean, yet when viewed closely, one can see intricate detail and texture within each stripe. I adore colour, so my oil works are striking, vibrant and loud. Within the background of each piece, I brush layers and layers of oil paint onto the canvas until the perfect hue is created. This also gives the paintings depth and added texturing, which lifts and makes the smooth stripes even bolder.
Wildlife Portraits on Canvas
My wildlife portraits are original works which I have digitally painted, I take great pride in the fact that no Adobe Photoshop, pattern brushes, filters or colour manipulation is used at any stage of my work. They are painted from scratch from my own wildlife photography. I study each animal for as long as they allow me to, making many sketches before I start painting the portraits. Each portrait can take between eighty and one-hundred hours to complete. I think of my portraits as windows; moments, shared between the animal and myself. In each case I try my upmost to portray the animals character, thoughts and instincts in my paintings.
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