Today at D31 Art Gallery, we would like to introduce a local artist in residence, former Trustee of the gallery, and current volunteer, Rebecca Rydel.
Rebecca began her artist career at a young age, painting walls and radiators with anything she could get her hands on, and drawing in every lesson at school, (art class or not). And discovered art therapy at the NSPCC when she was 9 years old; At the age of 17 Rebecca was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and was in and out of this establishment for many years, creating artworks of her struggles and symptoms, some publicly available whilst many are hidden away only to be seen by the artist; or lost on the ward. Unfortunately during this time her A levels were due for marking, and with exams mandatory, she was unable to submit her works or leave the ward so never received the qualifications.
After years of studying online courses, she settled into a biology degree with the open university however she had to leave during the second year due to ill mental health, the years following were rough for Rebecca, so much that she could not leave her flat, or even open the curtains, for fear of being watched or followed. a few years ago, Rebecca made the first step towards a better life by playing a mobile game with her dad, they ended up following the game into Doncaster Corn Exchange where Rebecca found a small community of artists, with encouragement from her partner and dad, she joined the community and discovered the secret world of artists in Doncaster, joining the artists in residence at the corn exchange, then the New Fringe, and recently, our own D31 Art Gallery. She has taken part in numerous exhibitions these past years including our current “Togetherness” Exhibition.
Rebecca’s artwork always begins as expressive abstract paintings, which are then painted over when she is feeling better, with her works focusing on educating people about mental health, world issues, and the environment, Rebecca does not have one set style of work but rather a multidisciplinary range of styles, suited to her ever changing emotions; her works range from the strange, dreamlike, and surreal, to abstract expressionism, and realistic fine art with strong symbolism. All her works tell a story for the viewer to find and are often rich in texture. Similar to her style, she does not stick to one medium and experiments with everything from graphite and charcoal to oil paint and tattoo ink.