We are absolutely OBSESSED with the work of Rachael Hooper and I am so excited to introduce her work to my Jumbled community. Rachael is based in Melbourne and her work is a mix of contemporary still life, landscapes and abstract elements which totally make my heart skip a beat every time I see them.
It's no wonder Rachael has been nominated for and won some amazing awards, and it was a total treat to catch up with her recently to chat all things art!
Rachael, we are your biggest fans! Tell us about how it began for you. "Gosh, big question. I have always enjoyed art and doing art. I travelled around Australia from Darwin through Perth and up to Qld over two years in my late teens. By the time I got to Townsville I was certain I wanted to do a visual arts degree. I was accepted to James Cook University, even if I did do a frog calendar! I absolutely loved doing my degree, it was very hands on. I did a sculpture major and for my final piece welded a life size copper cow/woman fountain. A bit weird. I spent a year on Magnetic Island then drove to Melbourne. My first solo exhibition was at Seventh Gallery in 2001. By then I had shifted my focus to painting. My first paintings were all about colour and movement and tiny little people."
You've got quite a few group and solo exhibitions under your belt now - do they ever get any less nerve wracking? "Yes, I think so. I know more of what to expect but the adrenaline still pumps, thankfully. I am definitely more organised."
Where do you draw inspiration? "Around me, everywhere. Mostly my sphere of inspiration is local and introspect. My own house, rooms, backyard, music I am playing. But also on a larger radius I find information and inspiration from books, radio and television."
What's been the best thing to happen in your career so far? "It was pretty huge winning $25,000 in the Albany Art Prize in 2008. But I was also totally chuffed to be selected for the finalists' exhibition of the Arthur Guy Memorial Prize 2017."
When are you at your happiest? "In bed."
What is something not many people know about you? "I am actually pretty smart ......and tidy!"
What exciting things do you have planned for 2019 - what can we look forward to next? "My daughter has just started 3 days of childcare this year, so I am looking to have more studio time but also have some opportunities to make props for theatre. I am unsure of what will happen next but am determined it will be a year of experimentation and discovery."
The Jumbled Quickie:
The first thing you do when you have spare time: Walk around the house thinking of all the things I could do if I had more time.
Guilty pleasure: Nobby's nuts
Dream Collaboration: An expert textiles maker
Hidden Talent: Making things out of toilet roll holders
One thing from your bucket list: Luxury accommodation just about anywhere
Favourite Spotify Playlist: Anything but jazz, is that bad?
Go-to meal to cook when you have friends over: Hmmm....lamb and salad or Malaysian curry or currently pikelets and coffee.
Craziest thing you've ever done: Hot air ballooning in China
Last book you read: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
Favourite family tradition: Currently Friday night dinner on the couch watching a movie.
Current Netflix addiction: Just recently watched Russian Doll, not bad.
Song that gets you on the dancefloor: Burning Down the House, Talking Heads