Rachel Singel

Two images side-by-side of the same illustration of a fern branch on two different types of handmade paper.
Two prints of "Unfurling Fern," Intaglio on handmade paper with Abaca, 14 x 20 inches, 2023.

The paper on the left was made with Yellow Flag Iris, and the paper on the right was made with Japanese Knotweed, from invasive plants removed from the park by Acadia's vegetation crew.

(Photos courtesy of Rachel Singel)

My work is a response to the intricacies and depth of natural forms. Lines are the building blocks of my imagery. The etching process in printmaking allows for a technical consideration of how these lines are distributed throughout the work, with the weight of each line relating directly to how much time it is kept in a saline solution. Lines develop into curves, from curves to circles, and then to fields. As each line extends outward, the form begins to resemble how it occurs in nature: preconditioned, though subject to the elements around it.

Unfurling Fern is inspired by a native Cinnamon Fern that was just coming up by Jordan Pond duringmy residency at Acadia in May 2023. The prints are on handmade paper made with Yellow Flag Iris (left) and Japanese Knotweed (right), invasive plants removed from the park by the vegetation crew. Conceptually, the union of process and subject embodies an important metaphor for my views.

Beyond bringing attention to the immense complexity of the natural world, one of my primary goals as an artist is to raise environmental consciousness. I print on handmade papers made from recycled materials such as old cotton shirts and linen sheets, as well as plant fibers, especially those of invasive plants. Conceptually, the union of process and subject embodies an important metaphor for my views. I hope that making sheets by hand not only can help the environment, but also can promote sustainability. Fundamentally, my work is about discovering, then understanding, and finally expressing an attitude towards nature.

– Rachel Singel, 2023

Woman leans over artwork in progress in an outdoor setting
Rachel Singel

Rachel Singel is an Associate Professor at the University of Louisville. Rachel grew up on a small farm in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia in 2009 and a Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the University of Iowa in 2013.

Rachel has participated in residencies at the Penland School of Crafts, the Venice Printmaking Studio, Internazionale di Grafica Venezia, Art Print Residence in Barcelona, Spain, Wharepuke Print Studios in New Zealand, and Proyecto'ace, an Artist-in-Residence Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has studied non-toxic printmaking at the Grafisk Eksperimentarium studio in Andalusia and will continue her research at AGA LAB in Amsterdam, Netherlands in April 2023. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and represented in private, public and museum collections.

Visit her website.

Acadia National Park

Last updated: January 29, 2024