Rachael Bennett

This is a painting I made in 2009 when I was having a very difficult time as a teacher – lots of horrible political moves and disputes. I taught art in a special school and had a huge walk-in storage cupboard in my class room (I worked in a school for children with severe social and emotional needs so everything had to be locked away). I was so fed up I started this piece in my beautiful cupboard and it was a great refuge for me. I allowed some of my best students to see it as it progressed which was also a special healing experience for us together.

The painting is made from a cardboard box which had contained a classroom computer. As part of my process with this piece and others that followed, every bit of card I removed I put back in a different place so it remained ultimately intact. This is a large piece of work about 150 x 100 cm and I used straw and mud from walks I took during this time where I would talk to my husband about “the situation” and what to do. Needless to say I left that job and started seriously painting. So this piece is pivotal in my development as an artist and very special to me.