Graduates 2018: Rachel Sankey: Printmaking

Over the last three years I have been specialising in printmaking within a fine art context. I use etching and primarily portraiture to explore notions around the networks and exchanges we have.

In my practice, I strive to capture how the face can involuntarily be an instrument that expresses our inner state. I endeavour to create work that is intended for adults but can also be interpreted by children.

I am fascinated by the complex relationship we have with the people around us. Our character is formed in part by the various relationships we have in our lives. It is the daily interactions and constant unconscious influences we have on each other that are at the core of my interests. Whether it is an interaction between two strangers or the bond between a mother and her child, I am captivated by how we communicate.

Rachel Sankey Printmaking

I am currently exploring how manipulating the gaze of the individuals in my portraits through different arrangements and enigmatic groupings can change the way they appear to be engaging with one another. I am interested in the way in which second glances can drastically change our first impressions of a subject and how minor changes in the placement of the work have the potential to effect its reading.


What are your plans following graduation?

I have a place on a teacher training course in Southend-on-Sea, Essex which specialises in special education needs at primary level in mainstream schools. I am really excited to become a fully qualified teacher and be able to encourage creativity and ambition in my classroom. Alongside this, I intend to continue my art practice and have been saving to invest in my own small press. In recent years I have participated in art exhibitions in the Southend area and hope to continue being involved in local creative art groups.

Rachel Sankey printmaking

How did you find studying at Brighton?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at the University of Brighton. The course has inspired me to develop my art practice in ways I never could have imagined. I know I will hugely miss having access to the incredible printmaking facilities here and, of course, I will miss the support of the brilliant tutors and the ever helpful, wonderful workshop technicians.

Rachel Sankey printmaking

During my second year of university, I completed an options module called ‘Introduction to Inclusive Arts’, run by artist and lecturer Jo Offer. This opportunity has had a profound impact on my understanding of the arts. The course involved working with The Rocket Artists, a group of adult artists with and without learning disabilities based in Phoenix Gallery. My work with the Rockets has increased my awareness of inclusivity in a shared studio space and helped me build an understanding of how to be resourceful in my delivery and facilitation of workshops, in order to make them as accessible as possible. It also lead to the wonderful opportunity of helping to initiate weekly art workshops for adults with ASC (Autism Spectrum Condition) alongside Jo.

Rachel Sankey Printmaking

In addition to my studies, I have worked as a Widening Participation Ambassador. The role has undoubtedly shaped my university experience drastically. It has given me opportunities to challenge myself and expand my experiences of working with young people in such positive, inspiring contexts. I have been able to share my passion for art through delivering printmaking workshops, facilitating the activities to suit all the students needs and creative ideas. The role also lead to coordinating the running of a social group for students with ASC. This particular experience opened my eyes to the importance of inclusivity and social wellbeing within university life.

Find out more about Rachel’s work

Come to the Graduate Show

Find out more about BA(Hons) Fine Art Printmaking

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