Rachel is based in Cromwell, Central Otago, living in a 110-year old cottage with her dogs and a large garden. She is a full-time artist painting in acrylics and making sculptures out of metal. Living for some time in Japan and Mexico, which has strongly influenced her creative output, as does living in this unique, ancient environment of ours. The surfaces of her paintings are built up over time, of light glazes of colour alternating with opaque layers of paint. Rachel has a degree in Art History/Theory from the University of Otago.
In the tabletop sculptures Hirabayashi provides the same quiet stillness that is synonymous with her paintings. Made from steel these braised intrigues are meant to gain a patina. The thin coating colouring their appearance is a way to evoke the weathered terrain of Hirabayashi’s home landscape in Central Otago. Even when rocked they return to a centred stillness.
Born in Auckland 1965 but a traveller by nature Hirabayashi has lived in Japan and Mexico, travelled through the Americas, Europe and Asia but comes home to her beloved dogs in her fabulous cottage and garden in Cromwell. Her formal education was done at Otago University and is supplemented by regular trips in “Fordita” her camper van. From the drivers seat Hirabayashi gathers a headful of images that inform her daily making and painting.
From the public sculpture in the Arrowtown garden to something able to be taken home, the sculptures of Hirabayashi gently push us to wonder.
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