Rachael Speirs

Biography

Rachael Speirs began painting as a toddler as art was always encouraged in her household. She remembers growing up with her older brother where one day a week they would work in the basement of their home, painting caricatures of each other and making small sculptures that expanded in water. Throughout grade school and high school she was always known as 'the art kid' and was an active participant in both her school and community theatre. During this time Rachael privately studied opera for over four years. Rachael holds both Canadian and American citizenships and upon graduating from high school she chose to travel throughout the United States. She lived in California for almost a year before living on Mackinac Island in Michigan where she worked for local artist Maeve Croghan. Upon her return she went to school to become a social service worker and was consistently encouraged by her professor to pursue her love of art. She worked in the field as a career counselor for over 4 years, eventually running programs for the City of Toronto. As a career counselor she encouraged authenticity and honesty in ones perusal of meaningful work. Her belief in the strength of human potential lead her to take a risk in 2010 and leave this career behind to follow her own calling as an artist.

Statement

The artwork of Rachael Speirs depicts a world without rules, boundaries or limitations. Rachael typically works with scrap fabric and embroidery as a method of creating texture in her pieces and as a play off traditional women's handiwork. Her pieces look like paintings from afar but there is something about them that quizzically and curiously draws the viewer in allowing exploration of the texture, materials and subject matter. All her pieces are framed behind glass, therefore limiting the viewer to fully be able to explore the piece through touch. Through this window Speirs supports imagination and desire. As a self-taught artist she works through instinct and intuition in her composition. She utilizes her past experience as a counselor to develop a body of work that has a therapeutic connection to storytelling. She also works to convey the nostalgia of a well read, old and worn children's storybook but with a macabre twist that is a metaphor for personal experience. Rachael is in her first year of showing her artwork and has participated in many shows across the GTA. Her work is valued in many private collections, and has been covered by Inside Toronto and Bust Magazine.

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