Amanda Rabey is an award winning Newcastle upon Tyne fine artist. Working from The Mushroom Works studios in Ouseburn Valley, Amanda’s work is beautiful, analytical and engaging, seeing the world outside its usual formats.
Amanda Rabey (B.A. hons.) attended the Slade School of Fine Art where she won the Sir Andrew Taylor Prize, The Monington Prize for Drawing and the Boise Scholarship. The last of these enabled her to travel widely in Brazil. Her work is on permanent display as part of Cambridge University New Hall Collection of Twentieth Century Women’s Art.
She now lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Amanda Rabey’s work has always had a strong environmental strand running through it. The battle between the natural and synthetic world is her preoccupation.
Her current work is concerned with man’s impact on the environment and the relationship between macrocosm and microcosm, natural and synthetic.
“I want my images to be beautiful but really it is the message that is important to me. Although I consider technical craftsmanship to be incredibly important (because, after all if you cannot use accurate language you cannot communicate effectively) it is the idea that really excites me.
“I am a fine art painter based at Mushroom Works studios, Newcastle upon Tyne, working in oils and sometimes acrylic. I studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London where I won several prizes for painting and drawing. Having left there, I won the Boise Scholarship, which enabled me to travel to Brazil to study the meeting points between cities and nature in the shanty towns. I found that nature was viewed as a dangerous enemy to be overcome rather than as something vulnerable to be treasured.
“This was the starting point for one of my earliest themes, the battle between natural and synthetic worlds. I painted ‘Harnessing the Jungle’ which now hangs in the 20th Century Collection of Women’s Art in Cambridge University. ‘Natural and Synthetic Dawn’ continued the theme. I had in my mind a Garden of Eden with a new synthetic interloper, a mechanical nightingale, a visitor from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Legends and fairy tales fascinate me. I read and re-read them, trying to find the universal messages that they contain.
“I have become known over the last few years for painting and making prints of a series of strangely developed city flowers. In my mind they are developing to cope with their environments and becoming a kind of folded universe.
“I was brought up in a scientific household, which made me curious about life, the universe and everything. I have a great deal of difficulty remembering actual scientific facts but images and snippets of visual information float around inside my head and collide in ways that surprise me.”