Rachel Carter Derbyshire, United Kingdom
Rachel Carter creates woven sculptural pieces using a range of weaving techniques from Crochet to Basketry to Macrame combined with resistant materials such as Cast Bronze and Copper to create sculptures using one material in a continuous length. Inspiration for her work comes from geometric patterns found in flowers and plants and the English countryside.
Over the ten years of my professional practice since graduating with a BA Hons in Applied Arts, I have found myself driven by process and material in sculpture.
My sculptural work often features abstract fluid or geometric shapes that take inspiration from the patterns found in nature. With each sculpture I apply hand weaving techniques such as macrame and crochet to various materials such as wax, wire, paper and cord. Changing materials but applying the same process to it can vastly change the outcome, and it is this play with shape, form and texture that holds a particular interest.
In 2012 I was selected by Yorkshire Sculpture Park to show my hand woven work alongside Jaume Plensa in the Kyiv Botanical Gardens, Ukraine, an achievement I am very proud of. 2013 saw the first successful hand woven cast bronze, an 800mm diameter sphere from a direct cast of the woven wax. The sculpture was showcased at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show before becoming a feature within the World Heritage Site, The Derwent Valley, Derbyshire. My practice continues to push the boundaries of casting within the creation of each new work, always questioning and experimenting.
Over the last few years I have been working within the Museum setting as a free lance artist for Derby Museums which gives me the opportunity to explore collections, and develop art based activities for visitors across their three museum sites.
More recently I have been developing my management, organisation and creative skills within a new role as a Creative Producer for First Art, our local CPP. This one year post that is due to end in October, has given me a broader view of the arts and has given me the opportunity to approach more challenging projects in areas of low engagement. My projects have had great success, and have not been easy, but I have applied the same level of determination to this role as I do within my own practice, and has been equally as rewarding.
I have exhibited with the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) throughout my career having created many larger works that naturally sit within the garden or landscape setting. These exhibits which allows artists to display their work and enhance it with plants to show visitors to the shows, has been a wonderful platform, engaging with many visitors, and led to commissions from private gardens to National Trust properties.