Rachel Fenwick

A Place in Time



Rachel Fenwick is an artist concerned with place- In particular the spaces where we share our most memorable moments. This piece is a response to recently finding out that her great grandparents were married in this very church. “It responds to both mine and my great grandparent’s significant dates. The date they met, married and moved to my hometown of Lancashire. More recent dates look at my own relationship- our places in time.”

The exhibition is being held at Greystoke Church, Penrith, Cumbria from 27th July- 26th August 2015. Opening Night 7th August 6pm-8pm.


Installing My Piece

I’m extremely proud to say that the piece is up! It’s currently in place at Greystoke Church, Penrith, Cumbria. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to hold an exhibition in the very church my great grandparents were married in. It feels very monumental. It’s the first piece I’ve made in the UK since graduation and it’s of great family value to me. It reflects my current life situation, explores place and time and picks up on those memorable moments in life, the repetition of those events and our incessant need to secure ourselves in an area- our corner of the world.

Putting the piece up felt really special, I want to say a huge thank you to Christine Hurford, both for asking me to get involved in the exhibition and for all her help installing. Seeing the piece in the space, the idea coming alive so to speak, it became really real. It was no longer just an idea in my head, something I wasn’t sure I could make- but a real piece in an exhibition. And it looks good, professional yet artistic.

It also feels important that I’ve managed to break through an unwritten rule of the Lake District- the desire to paint the beautiful landscape. It’s so beautiful here it’s hard not to. However I knew I needed to break through that barrier to pursue my practice the way I’ve been doing. This piece explores the area without having to paint a replica of its surroundings.

An Hour Here and There

Waiting for gloss paint to dry takes a really long time! It worked out pretty well- in between jobs I’d paint another layer/section and then leave it overnight to do another bit the next day. Each day another bit would come together, and there would be another hurdle to jump. One hurdle being that I’d originally planned to use masking tape to create distinct lines between the black and white paint; however the gloss was too thick and easily peeled off when removing it. That meant careful hand painting was required, taking time, but achieving a great finish. I’m really pleased with the whole look of the piece, the occasional hand wobble only adds to the authenticity of my home made signpost.

What was really strange for me was making work outside of the studio for the first time. I’ve done some small scale stuff but making something of this size was much more difficult. I was working outdoors- so the weather was an issue, finding a suitable place for work to stay dry (under the caravan). Plus I didn’t have all the facilities of the woodwork space, the advice from technicians. There was no support group around me to bounce ideas around (Especially missing my studio partner Lis). Tutors had warned us not to take this for granted but I understand it much more now.