Rachel Favelle gets pop surreal

Rachel Favelle is a Gold Coast based artist with a world-wide audience. She is a Pop Surreal artist drawing vision from a blend of fairy tales and children’s classic. Her art highlights the significance of childhood creativity and curiosity and the loss of that as we age. While her art might seem sweet and childlike at first glance, stay for a while longer and it reveals its depth with even some darker undertones.

“My work belongs to the Pop Surreal genre of painting, a lowbrow movement originating in America in the 1970s which seeks to blur the boundaries between low and high art,” said Rachel.

“This movement has become more recently recognised with the film, ‘Big Eyes’ about the life of American artist, Margaret Keane.”

The inspiration for Rachel’s art comes from the most intriguing places. It derives from old antique toys, children’s novels, popular culture or the paintings of the Renaissance. And that then combines with the composition, Rachel explained.

“The compositions in my works are simple and suggestive of solitude, isolated contemplative figures engulfed in an expanse of space. I suppose in a way these characters are reflective of myself. Being a busy working mother of two I am constantly seeking time to be still and reflect. People assume that because I am so productive with my art practice that I have huge amounts of time to create but this is far from the truth, I squeeze it in the evening after the kids are in bed or whenever I have a few moments spare. Art provides this sense of stillness in my life; it is my daily ritual of relaxation at the end of a hectic day.”

Rachel’s style has evolved over the last few years, originally experimenting with dramatic facial distortions and vibrant colour palettes. The emphasis was on quirky and somewhat humorous themes; plates of jellyfish, birds-nest hair, blowfish balloons. More recently her work has adopted a more serious undercurrent.

“While my process is more about refining the figures, softer features and deeper colour schemes; I think my art of late has been more about communicating a thought-provoking message and developing my own voice as an artist,” she said.

Rachel is not just a practising artist; she is an art educator as well.

“Being an art educator and artist, I get to see both sides of the coin. As an artist one can have a tendency to be introverted and self-involved. You tend to forget the struggle of other creatives but education has given me an opportunity to look outward. I get an opportunity to feed into other people’s creative journey and encourage their unique abilities,” she said.

“I see my purpose as an artist and art teacher is to re-educate people that everyone is creative, just in different ways. Creativity is just problem solving with a twist.”

Rachel’s exhibition ‘Out of the Velvet Blackness’ is currently open in Curly Tale Fine Art Gallery in Chicago. If you want to see some of her art a little bit closer, visit ‘rachelfavelle.com, ‘artloversaustralia.com.au or join one of her illustration workshops.

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