My name is Rachael Berry. I'm a portrait painter from the Isle of Wight currently based between my studio in South London and at a beautiful yet sadly condemned Vicarage on the Isle of Wight.
Skin, I suspect, may keep me entertained indefinitely.
I love the nuance of portraiture. Familiarity fascinates me: the way we subconsciously absorb minute characteristics to the point that we will recognise a person in silhouette at the other end of the street from the way that they walk without having the faintest idea that one knew anything about the way they move.
It's so particular, but something so readily absorbed and processed by the brain. I'd like to represent this familiarity. It's more than just the way things look: We find incredibly particular feelings of familiarity in people, places, smells, feelings... and not just in what we might consider familiar- Sometimes they appear in places we've never been and people you've never met. This is also fascinating.
When I was young I remember thinking, 'I want to paint and draw things that look like stuff'. The pursuit of honest figurative representation continues to be a huge driving force, sparking a major interest in trompe l'oeil, true spectral reproduction of colour and the way that we see vs. the way that we THINK we see.
I am immensely inspired by the way that we see.. the connection between brain and eye.. the way that the brain is connected to the body. Certain colours give me uncontrollable urges to paint. It's really quite visceral and very aesthetic.
Yes, I am mostly inspired by matters of the nervous system: