#DarkHuesChats with Rachel Isabel

a blog banner with the words Dark hues chats. As well as two images of Rachel Isabelle who has wavy black hair and smooth skin. She is also giving a neutral expression

Hello lovely people and welcome welcome welcome back to another chapter of #Darkhueschats! Today’s interview features the lovely Rachel Isabel a talented artist and overall sweet soul x

1. So first and foremost your art is amazing! You are truly talented. What inspired you to become an artist?

I have a very creative family, my mum is a seamstress, I grew up watching her create beautiful gowns for friends and family. Art in all its forms can do so much to inform and to challenge our perceptions and I’ve always wanted to be a part of that change.

2. Inspiration is very common, especially in the creative industry. Would you say that there are people that have inspired your artwork? And if so who?

Black women have inspired my artwork. I struggled at uni to make my artwork reflect my identity and after I graduated I felt free enough to do so. As my work progressed I began to feel the energy and the spirituality my work possessed. My work has helped me discover things about myself and my heritage, to take time and look a little deeper. In terms of artists, I would say Joy Yamusangie, Lorna Simpson, Jenn Nkiru, and Lubiana Himid.

3. With Racism and Colourism existing in all parts of society. Have there been any challenges that you had to face in the art industry, as a Dark Skin Black Artist?

The art industry is dominated by stale white males, who have the luxury of making art about a dot on a canvas or a glass of water and calling it a tree. Black artists are never afforded that luxury, and even when we make art that is abstract and has nothing to do with race we’re still placed into the category of political Black art. Within art schools, Black artists do not exist in the curriculum. Art schools aren’t equipped to deal with the many layers of Blackness because all these institutions are operating with a level of unconscious and conscious bias.

4. There are many forms of art in the world, what are your favourite types of art?

Music is one of my favourite art forms. With everything that’s been happening in the past few months, I’ve been taking the time out to have sound baths. It has shifted my energy and I’ve been able to let myself feel vulnerable. I love being taken on a visual journey, my favourite kind of exhibitions are the immersive installations.

5. Last question, is there any advice you would give to our Dark Skin readers who are eager to enter the art industry?

Connect with other artists, don’t be afraid to DM people unless they say not to. Then just email them. Go to art events, support your fellow Black artists. If you’re currently in art school, some tutors are not equipped to deal with Blackness same with your white peers, don’t be afraid to create your own collectives or find support networks outside of uni.

Rebekah is a multi disciplinary Artist. Be sure to check out Rachel on Instagram and to support her you can purchase her art here and also can share and donate to her GOFUNDME here

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