Rachel Spencer is a Fine Artist, residing in South England. Her practice investigates how the process of image making can change the perception of imagery. She uses the subject matter of landscape as a catalyst for this exploration into optics, and whether there is only one true image. Her practice utilises traditional printmaking techniques along with digital, photography, and drawing, to explore her interest in the spectrum of vision. Rachel graduated from Fine Art Printmaking in 2016.
When I graduated from Brighton in 2016, it felt like such a whirlwind, three years really do go by so quickly. I had a great time and we had great tutors that really pushed you and made you think, about both your practice and art as a whole. We had great guest speakers such as Emma Stibbon and Victoria Ahrens, who are still two of my favourite artists. It was also great to be interacting with fellow artist printmakers, who I am still friends with to this day.
Once I completed my BA, I decided I wasn’t quite ready for postgraduate study yet, both artistically and financially. I had worked very hard over the three years and needed to have a bit of a rest bit from study. I had achieved a First Class Honours degree, which I was very pleased with, but needed to give my brain a bit of a break. So, I said goodbye to Brighton and moved back to Dorset where I’m originally from. Getting to be close to family and friends was great, but I was also doing a lot of temping and job searching. Be prepared, graduate life is hard, make the most of the opportunities you get whilst at uni. Although, working the rubbish jobs really did help me work out what I did and didn’t want to do. I knew I didn’t want to settle for a job I hated, and I needed to find a career path that was more creative.
About 8 months after I graduated I was offered the role of Print Technician at Stroud College in Gloucestershire. The idea of running my own print room was the dream so I jumped at the chance and moved to Gloucestershire (where I had never been other than on my interview). When I started there the print room was an utter mess, so unorganised and didn’t flow right at all, it was horrible. They also didn’t have any kind of intaglio printing which was sad. I have now been there for 2 years and as well as completely reorganising and streamlining the print room, I have also introduced new processes such at Kitchen Lithography and Eco Etching. It’s a lovely place to work now and I get to interact with a range of students.
I’m currently working towards an upcoming show with my friend and colleague photographer Tom Keating, which will be taking place in March 2021. I am also looking into postgraduate study, which I am hoping to do in the next couple of years.