Rachael Ireland

Winner 2010

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Artist Statement

I am an emerging photographic artist currently based in Newcastle, NSW.

Driven by my preoccupation with the idea of home, my photographic art practice is concerned with how people create home and how it mediates their relationship with the surrounding environment. My work takes its departure from the cultural implications of how the house and garden functioned in Australia to separate and protect early non-Indigenous occupants from what was an unfamiliar land; confining them in their imported sense of home. I use the camera to negotiate this lingering barrier between home and country.

The layered photographic imagery I create is contemplation on how people have, and continue to encounter and engage with unfamiliar environments and, alternatively, how people allow these environments to infiltrate their home, particularly in contemporary urbanised society.

More information about Rachael's work can be found on her website.

Recent Works

The Enchanted Bedroom (2010/2011)

Outside The Interior (2011)

An Intimate Dimension II (2012)

Art Career Beginnings

I first enrolled in a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration, but transferred into a B. Fine Art after deciding I would prefer my work to involve people. I was initially interested in how art could be used in community and health settings, more so than creating art for exhibition in a gallery.

Rosemary Laing was the first photographer whose work directly inspired my photographic practice and influenced how it has developed conceptually , especially her Groundspeed Series, which still fascinates me now as much as when I first saw an image from the series in art theory 101.

My Jennie Thomas Travelling Scholarship Experience

Winning the Jennie Thomas Travelling Art Scholarship allowed me to travel to London to attend a specific exhibition that contributed to my Honours research.

It also gave me confidence in my photographic art practice to continue pursuing opportunities to create and share my artwork with a wider audience after graduating from formal studies at the University of Newcastle. 

Beyond The Scholarship

The year after travelling on my Jennie Thomas Travelling Art Scholarship, I participated in an artist-in-residence program at Residencia Corázon in Argentina. It was an inspiring and productive time - beyond all expectations! I also enjoyed some time, following the residency, camping and hiking in Patagonia; all in all a fabulous trip!

I currently work at Newcastle Art Gallery as a Senior Gallery Assistant. In the future, however, I would like to undertake postgraduate study to enable me to work as an Art Therapist. And, of course, I want to continue developing my own photographic art practice.

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The Enchanted Bedroom (2010/2011)

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Outside The Interior (2011)

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An Intimate Dimension II (2012)

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