Rebecca Birtwhistle - Drawing & Painting

Educated at The King’s School, Worcester (1991–98) and Pembroke College, Oxford (1999–2002).

While studying at the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art Rebecca rapidly established drawing as her specialist studio practice. Varying in approach, media and scale, drawing continues to underpin all aspects of her work, whether at the research stage, where it forms an essential means of gathering information and analysing an environment, or in the development and final execution of studio works.

Journeys and site visits are documented in sketchbooks providing the reference and inspiration for subsequent drawings, mixed media studies, constructed books, prints and paintings. However, a preference for enquiry over exposition, means that much more of her work remains hidden in these visual diaries than is revealed in ‘finished’ pieces.

Experiments with new techniques and imagery have led her to move between, or combine, carefully rendered detail and a looser, freer style; a measured perspectival line may abut a wandering inky dribble, or splattered pigment might partially obscure a delicate pen stroke. The contrasting approaches reflect a constant struggle for accurate portrayal while retaining a sense of immediacy, the challenge of ‘doing less’. Compositions constructed from strong structural lines, fragmentary forms and skeletal frame-works, perhaps revealed through decay or dereliction, characterise her work with architectural and anatomical themes predominant. The limited, often monochromatic, palette of her recent work throws further emphasis on her use of line as a descriptive device.

Alongside exhibitions and studio work, she has undertaken private commissions, designed logos and illustrations, and produced images including those for Pembroke College (Oxford), Worcester Cathedral, the Centre for Criminological Research (Oxford University) and the touring exhibition about Anne Frank, “A History for Today”. She was awarded the Oxford University prize for Drawing (2002) and the selected work is now part of the Ashmolean Museum’s collection. Her work has also appeared on stage in Ayckbourn’s “Season’s Greetings” at Worcester’s Swan Theatre.

Rebecca is also a qualified teacher and so divides her time between her studio in Taunton and school life in Exeter.

Contact Details:

01823 257969

Taunton, Somerset