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Despite working in two very different mediums, textiles and sculpture, a distinctive illustrative style runs through all of Rachel Sumner’s work. Rachel first began experimenting with textiles whilst studying for a BA Hons. in Fine Art at Maidstone in Kent, using felt making, dyeing and weaving to express her ideas. Being a collector by nature, she is constantly finding fabric to use, from tiny pieces that would otherwise be discarded to vintage remnants. She layers, stitches and embroiders these to create her nautical inspired textile pictures.
The same intuitive technique is used when creating her sculptures. Living in North Devon, she finds the beaches a rich source of inspiration and objects, making use of the jetsam of life washed up on the shores by winter storms. Her sculptures of ships and birds are bursting with character and clever uses of materials- old worn-out paintbrushes become the legs of a flying wading bird, with rusted rivets becoming it’s eyes.
Rachel has exhibited widely across the UK, and her work has been featured in ‘Embroidery’, the Embroiderers Guild magazine, and Devon Life magazine.