Australian Newspaper
15 September 2000


You might think a campervan and a camera are not ideal materials on which to base artistic expression. But one London traveller is making the most of what is available.

Rachel Beckett is currently living in Manly but has spent most of her time in Australia travelling along the eastern seaboard to the top of the country and down through the centre. And she intends to go to the west before her time in Australia finishes.

She has been doing this in a campervan and has created images from a number of classic Aussie scenes using photography - the best medium available to her. "I don't have the materials to sculpt, which is where my background lies, and I can get photos developed," she said. Rachel has worked extensively in London and has held a number of exhibitions. She was trained, among other places, at the Royal College of Art, London, where she received an MA in sculpture. In particular, she has featured in the London Cab Gallery artworks that are constantly moving in the interior of London taxis. "Some of my cushions have appeared in the Cab Gallery," she said. The cushions theme is also one Rachel has applied to her Australian sojourn. "The cushions are the fabric from the District Line of the underground Tube in London," Rachel said. "It becomes like a presence of home, taking a part of London with me. Kind of 'wishing you were here' thing." However, as with many artistic ventures, there is ambiguity in the cushion theme. "The idea of home can be related to anywhere you stop," Rachel added. "Your home can be constantly changing."

While making Manly her home, Rachel has taken numerous shots of the sea and rock formations from headlands. "The light in Australia is incredible," she said. "An expat Englishman once told me that Australia was like a colour postcard and England like a black and white one. I now understood what he meant."

Rachel's work is currently on exhibition at Tropical Italy, Central Ave, Manly, and will be there until Thursday, September 21.




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