A deep connection to the land and sea of New Zealand, is always at the heart of my work. My desire for us, as custodians of this unique, raw beauty, to not only maintain what we already have and often take for granted, but to return what we can to it’s natural state.
My respect for nature started with bush walks and beach outings with family. I grew up with my West Coast father, imparting knowledge of native trees, birds and insects.
On The Shores Of Our Land are additionally inspired by childhood memories of looking with fascination at watercolours and lithographs of NZ prior to colonisation, at the Auckland Art Gallery.
The design of the sculptural pieces for this exhibition, are evocative of things of the sea, both in nature and our relationship with it: Whale teeth, fish contours, dolphin fins, yacht sails, surf boards.
Rachel Murphy was born in Christchurch but moved when she was a child to Holland with her family for a couple of years, arriving back in NZ to Auckland, Rachel grew up in the idyllic Titirangi – Waitakere Ranges of Auckland.
As a young adult Rachel lived for a time in Sydney, Australia and then Scotland, she still feels a strong connection to the land, architecture and people of Scotland.
Mostly self-taught, Rachel works predominately in porcelain slip casting. Whilst studying a Bachelor of Design, she learned the basic technique of slip casting from Jo Nuttall – glass casting Artist in Auckland. Much of Rachel’s skills have been developed over time, through successes and failures and in the case of gilding, many years of practice.
After 15 years Designing furniture and interiors, with the creation of art as a hobby, it was not until 2012 that Rachel decided to concentrate on ceramics and then in 2014 become a full time artist. Her work is therefore influenced by her design background, through form and in the domestic pieces – functionality.
Rachel considers herself a student of nature and is constantly in awe of the subtleties and extremes of land, sea and air. Her creative process often begins with observations on a walk in the bush or on rugged west coast beaches.