Rachel Widdows BA (Hons) MA (RA Sc)
‘During my masters degree at the Royal Academy I began to develop paintings exploring rural concerns, in particular the complex relationship between man, animals and the natural environment.
Recent work focuses on the experience of my immediate rural landscape and the animals that inhabit my small holding and the surrounding farm land.’
Rachel Widdows MA is best known for the poster commissioned by London Underground, to advertise London Zoo, Do The Zoo, the original can still be seen on display at London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.
She now lives on a small holding in East Sussex where she is surrounded by a growing number of needy animals, including ex battery hens, Muscovy ducks, George the Turkey, aged cats and her beloved rabbits.
Rachel’s work expresses her fascination with the complex private lives of animals whose life is spent in service to man. These relationships take time to observe and are not immediately obvious to the casual observer.
Rachel understands the particular bond of a horse with it’s carer, as she has ridden, owned and cared for horses all her life. The lessons she learned in dealing with highly strung thoroughbreds, in particular her own rescued race horse, taught her valuable lessons in listening to and observing the language of horses. She believes that the key to representing the horse requires an intimate knowledge of inner structure, the conformation of the animal and a deep empathy and respect for the horse’s spirit.
Rachel’s horse paintings drew the attention of the American Olympic team, who commissioned numerous equine portraits of their horses, including Bruce Davidson’s Olympic gold medal winner Eagle Lion.
The beautiful frames that Rachel uses on all her work are bespoke hard wood, or hand finished gesso mouldings with gilded slips. The attention to detail and high standard of finish are rarely seen today.