Rachael Foster


Rachael Foster (1983 - ) grew up in the small beach community of Campbells Bay, on Auckland's North Shore. Recognised as the 'Emerging Artist of the Year' by the International Child Art foundation Foster attended Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland but says the "one thing I did learn there was how much bullshit there is in the art world". She says she is therefore mostly self-taught, with a 'back to front' approach “ where "I start with a vision of what I want to create, only then figuring out which method will help me to achieve the desired finish. I push my acrylics to their limit and I'm happy to admit I have no patience for oils - striving as I am for that fleshy, plastic-smooth billboard finish. The works are certainly not chromaphobic either, in fact ridiculously bright, which is sadly often associated with being superfluous, a delusion I'd like to change. Colour is so important giving structure, meaning and emotion to art. I feel that most people don't have a good grasp on colour and are afraid of it."

Rachael tells us "my travels have made me appreciative of what New Zealand is and what we represent. I want people to delight with me in the ordinary things of our country – things that are so essential to who we are that we no longer examine them and recognize their beauty. My works initially capture us with their boldness and immediacy. They signify our past, our home grown culture & do-it-yourself, number 8 wire mentality. They tell a real story of life in what will hopefully be, a bygone, but remembered time as New Zealand moves forward. Let's call it the end of the Golden Weather, our glory days. I love the barely-veiled conformity slogans of 1950s advertising telling you which detergent to buy and the life you could have with humorously exaggerated ways of looking at things. We are surrounded by the leftovers of a culture that is already dying – Kiwiana culture. I want to capture these fast-vanishing icons, so that we can take pride in our short but colourful history. I want to paint the pages of New Zealand's history books - so that we can look back and smile."