An interview with Inka Member Rachel Ireland-Meyers

What made you choose to become a member of Inka Gallery?
I became a member of Inka Gallery in July 2010 and it has been a fantastic experience. I joined largely because of the diversity of artists, all of whom produce a varied array of artworks. In addition, Inka Gallery is well positioned at Salamanca; is professionally run; and a wonderful community to be part of.

What is your background and how did you get started?
I was born and raised in New Zealand, and was fortunate to have two amazing and creative grandparents. My grandfather was a prolific painter, musician, and was fluent in 8 languages, spending much of his youth travelling throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Likewise, my grandmother was multi-talented and an award winning garden and landscape designer. Over time I became interested in the commercial art industry, and trained mainly in Graphic Art and Lithography.

I moved to Australia in the late 1980s and continued to work in the industry in Sydney. However, with a move to Melbourne, my focus changed and I trained and worked in Finance and Marketing. In the early 1990s, I moved to Fremantle, Western Australia and worked in the areas of community development; spent numerous years at University; and worked as a researcher and as an educator. My time in Western Australia was wonderful and accompanied by friendships with artist, John Anthony and members of the multi-talented Juniper family, among others.
In late 2006, I moved to Tasmania, with my husband and four children, and on a part-time basis picked up my rather “dusty” art brushes. In many ways I have come full-circle – becoming a member of the Inka community.

Which other artists and areas of life inspire your artwork?
There are numerous artists that I find inspiring: Robert Hannaford and David Bromley (SA); James Gleeson, Elizabeth Cummings, Jenny Sages, Michael Johnson and John Olsen (NSW); and Western Australian artist and sculptor Robert Juniper.

What is your favourite subject matter and medium?
The changing seasons in Tasmania remain one of my main focuses, largely due to the amazing colours they bring to the landscape as a whole. I work mainly with acrylics and/or oils on canvas and mixed media too. I adore gardens, and often forage for various flowers that I might like to paint. I also love the forms and shapes in the landscape, and those throughout the city of Hobart and surrounds.

Describe your workspace and your creative process?
My studio space is at home. It is a large space, light and bright and a great place to work. My general love of both primary and secondary colours, often dictates what I will or won’t paint. By nature I am expressive, and this is obvious with many of my works. I recently greeted a customer who said my paintings gave her a “sense of hope and joy” and perhaps no one can ask for a better compliment than that.

What do you enjoy the most about being a member of Inka?
Over the past year, I have had a good deal success with many of my paintings being sold. Many works are in private collections in New Zealand, Australia, the US and the UK. It has been a privilege to meet everyone, and it is particularly nice to be part of a community where everyone contributes to make Inka Gallery what it is.

Rachel will be featuring on the "Black Wall" at the end of September and will be having her first solo exhibition with us later in the year so we'll keep you posted!
In the meantime you can visit to see more of her work or better still come into the gallery and see Rachel's many styles of work on the shelves.