Rachel Fenner trained in sculpture and painting at Wimbledon School of Art before spending four years as a post-graduate student in the Sculpture School of the Royal College of Art. She has taught sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art, West Surrey College of Art in Farnham and Winchester School of Art. During the years up 1978 she produced a vast body of studio/gallery work and exhibited widely in London, the South and other parts of the UK.
In 1979 she won an Arts Council fellowship to work with Portsmouth City Council to establish a pilot scheme to develop ‘Art as Environment’ – exploring the parameters of Public Art. This project spanned three years and subsequently led to a large number of groundbreaking projects in which she collaborated with public bodies to produce works that were not simply integral to public spaces but were those spaces. Rachel has continued to work in this way until the present day and is continually expanding her repertoire of materials, techniques and working methods. Her public spaces have included earthworks, carvings, cast bronze, mosaic paving, brickwork, gates, seating, railings and trellises, and have also featured innovative use of water and lighting. Many of the projects have been developed as ‘markers’ of former archaeological sites within the built environment.
Examples of Rachel’s environmental artwork shown on this site include the ‘Hampshire Jubilee Sculpture’. Completed in November 2003, this work is situated on the Law Courts Terrace near the Great Hall in Winchester and was commissioned by Hampshire County Council to commemorate the coronation Queen Elizabeth II. Other examples shown include the ‘Link Stone Fountain’ in Malvern, commissioned by the Malvern Hills District Council and the ‘Siloh Square’ scheme in Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, commissioned by Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Alongside her public art, Rachel also produces domestic-scale sculpture in wood, stone and bronze suitable for both home and garden. Examples of this work are shown in the Sculpture section of this site. Rachel’s smaller works are highly abstracted, however, it is fair to say that the imagery is rooted in nature, with references to water, the sea, and the ancient natural and archaeological sites of Britain.
Rachel is not only a one of Britain’s most established Environmental Sculptors but also a highly respected painter. Her paintings could be described as following in the British tradition of romantic abstract landscapes and are mainly inspired by the coastal landscapes of Pembrokeshire and Dorset with strong references to the history of ancient Britain.
Educated at Wimbledon School of Art and the Royal College of Art.
1966-78 – Extensive teaching experience in Art Colleges throughout the Southern Region.
1974-76 – Visitor to R.A. Schools.
1975 – Southern Arts Association Bursary.
1978 – Southern Arts Association Bursary.
1979 – Completed as ‘Artists in Schools’ project at Fort Hill School near Basingstoke.
1981 – Completed sculptured and paved courtyards, Highbury College, Portsmouth.
1982 – Completed ‘Hill Sentinels’. Sculpture and landscape for Fort Hill, Basingstoke.
1982 – Completed ‘Brick Whirlpool’. Brick sculpture and landscape for new Social Services Department, Portsmouth.
1983 – Southern Arts Artist in Residence.
1984 – Commission to make a sculpture for King Alfred’s College, Winchester.
1985 – St. Denys School Landscape Earthworks. Completed 1986.
1986 – Commission for Hightown Housing Estate, gates and details.
1989 – Design involvement 1992 National Garden Festival Ebbw Vale.
1989-90 – ‘Saxon Column’ commission for Hamwick. Information Technology Centre, Southampton. ‘Romano-Celtic Paving Sculpture’. Bitterne Manor School.
1991 – ‘Saxon Gate Guardian’ Courtyard for Geoffrey Osborne, Developers.
1992 – Commission for ‘Seascape Mosaic’ groundwork. Priory School Portsmouth.
1993 – Commission for ‘Castle Park Throne’ (Stone Carving) Bristol.
1994 – Commission for ‘Landscaping, Earthworks, Ground Mosaic and Japanese Gardens’,
Great Milton Primary School Oxford.
1994 – Sculptor in Residence for Cadw (Welsh Historic Monuments and Artworks Wales) at St. David’s Bishops Palace, Dyfed.
1995 – Commission for two large ‘Mosaic Pavements’ for Channelside, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.
1995 – Design for the ‘Dock Museum Landscaping’, Barrow-in-Furness.
1996 – Commission for Bilbao Europe Park Spain. ‘Friendship Stone’ (Stone Carving). Resident Sculptor, Bournemouth International Festival.
1997 – Design commission for Essex County Council Schools Building Programme. Design commission for ‘New Landscape and Public Space’, Southampton General Hospital. Design commission for St Bartholomews Church, Holland-on-Sea.
1998 – Commission for Main Artwork, New Constable Wing, Colchester Hospital. Commission for landscaping Countess Mountbatten House (Hospice), Southampton. Commission to re-design Falkland Square, Poole, Dorset. Coloured Brickwork designs for Facades of Weston Sports and Community Centre, Southampton.
1999 – Commission for Malvern Link Interchange, ‘Link Stone Fountain’, Great Malvern. Commission for new public space/square, ‘Siloh Square’, Ystrad Mynach, Caerphilly.
2000 – Commission for ‘Medieval Guardian’. Paving Sculpture, Winkle Street, Southampton.
2003 – Completed commission for ‘Hampshire Jubilee Sculpture’ Law Courts Terrace/Great Hall, Winchester.
2006 – ‘Roman Guardian’ large mosaic paving for ‘Gelligaer Square’ Rhondda Heritage Park – South Wales.
One Person Exhibitions
1976 – House, London.
1977 – The Arts Centre, Christ’s Hospital, Horsham.
1978 – Taranman, London; D.L.I. Museum and Art Gallery, Durham; Southampton City Art Gallery; Poole Arts Centre; Salisbury Library Art Gallery; Guildhall Gallery, Winchester; Willis Museum, Basingstoke; A Southern Art.- Touring Exhibition.
1981 – Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth; Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal Cumbria.
1989 – Chesil Gallery, Portland.
1992 – Landscape Seascape, Guildhall Gallery, Winchester.
1993 – Duncan Campbell, London.
1995 – Duncan Campbell, London.
1998 – Duncan Campbell, London.
2001 – Duncan Campbell, London.
2005 – Duncan Campbell, London.
2010 – ‘Pembrokeshire Landscapes’, St. Margaret’s Hall, St. Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire.
1978 – ‘The Square and the Circle’, House, London.
1980 – ‘Portsmouth-Duisburg’, Germany.
1981 – ‘Sculpture in the Library’, Basingstoke Festival.
1983 – ‘The Sculpture Show’, South Bank, London.
1985 – ‘Sculpture and Architecture, Renewing Partnership’, Building Centre, London.
1979 – ’80-90′, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth.
1980 – ‘Schools of Thought’, RIBA, London.
1995 – ‘Sacred Sites’, St. David’s Bishops Palace, Dyfed.
1999 – Heart of Hampshire. Winchester Cathedral Close, Winchester.
2007 – ‘Strange Events’ Camden Arts Centre, London.
2010 – ‘Artists of the Jurassic Coast’, Eypes Centre For the Arts, Dorset.