Rachel Mercer’s Early Career and Style
Born in Cambridgeshire, Rachel studied at Cardiff School of Art and Design and The Royal Drawing School. Since 2014, she has pursued her painting career from her studio in London. She paints her figures – subjects searching for spiritual or moral virtue –
from memory, imagination and sketchbook drawings. Rachel aims to capture the experience of a momentary glance or flash of memory. The painted surface is layered with multiple reworkings, scraped and scratched in an attempt to find the image on the canvas. Intense colours suggest an environment that is at once beautiful and hostile; the space around her figures is distorted or fragmented, reflecting their instability and the anxiety felt for the world around them.
Stand-out exhibitions include Christie's London in 2013, Mandell's Gallery in 2018, San Mei Gallery in 2019, and Carousel Gallery and Coventry Cathedral in 2020. Her paintings were shortlisted for the Ruth Borchard Prize (2020). The Royal Collection by HM The Prince of Wales has purchased some of her work.