Rachel Carroll

R a c h e l   C a r r o l l

Gymea Lily

Art is ultimately a way to communicate an idea or a way to better understand our natural world and immerse oneself in an experience of nature. Art teaches us to look again and, much like music, it engages the soul.

My focus has always been to bring the bush to the city in the hope that others will re-connect with nature.

Watercolour is something I travel with. Ideas start small in sketch books, as I like to produce while on location. I then use these smaller sketches to inspire the creation of a larger watercolour back in my studio.

As an expressionist and passionate advocator for nature’s restoration and continued expansion, I have also started to recycle my watercolour paper, a whole new project that enables me to conserve paper and make new books or objects.

A lifelong resident of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Rachel Carroll obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2007 from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales,  having previously completed a BFA with Honours. Taking a three-year gap between these degrees, Carroll travelled to Scotland where, through a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation, Melbourne, she held her first international exhibition at Colours Gallery, Dundas Street, Edinburgh. Upon returning to Australia via New York and Thailand, she undertook an exploration of the Australian outback that inspired her love for the Murray Darling River System, culminating in an eight-year project that took her to over eight different locations in the Murray River Basin. It was her fascination for water, nature and Australia’s environmental issues that became the focus for this ongoing body of work, which engendered a subsequent series about the Daintree and its relevance to our oxygen supply. Carroll’s next project will involve a considered look at our oceans in the context of global warming.

Each body of work has been the subject of a major annual solo exhibition in New South Wales, including The Oxygen Series (The Daintree) at Frances Keevil Gallery, Sydney, in 2018 and Headland to Bushland at Rex-Livingston Gallery, Katoomba, in 2022. In 2019, a survey exhibition of Carroll’s eight-year Murray Darling River System project was shown at Mary McKillop Museum in North Sydney.

Since 2012, Carroll has been teaching in numerous locations, including Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Willoughby Art Centre, North Sydney Creative Precinct and Kur-ring-gai Art Centre, as well as conducting workshops in her studio on Sydney’s Northern Beaches to share her passion for art and nature. She has been member of the Tree Veneration Society since 2021.

Winner of the Waverley Art Prize, Carroll has been a finalist in the Paddington Art Prize and the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize. Her work is represented in numerous private and public collections in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and England.

Rachel Carroll was elected a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute in 2022.


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