Rachel Plytas Back

I started painting as part of an experiment to explore the unconscious mind through the medium of art. My original intention was to work with a recurring dream image that I was struggling to make sense of. I thought that pausing on the image, to capture it and to allow a wider composition to come to life around it, might help me to connect in a different way with the image and to gain a deeper understanding of what it was trying to communicate to me. In 2009, I undertook some training in Jungian dream analysis, bought a sketchbook and started something that would ultimately change my life.
As the early results from the experiment began to reveal themselves, I very quickly understood that this process was enabling me to connect to something special and very important. By the time that I had completed the third painting, I had decided to officially name the experiment The Conscious Mind Collection and to commit to pursuing this visual communication with the unconscious for as long as the images continued to arise.
13 years later, I have 138 paintings, completed over 12 series.
All paintings have been produced on canvas using a combination of acrylic paint, fine liner, liquid paint and metallic. I love bold and bright colours and the combination of different finishes adds to each painting, creating a final image that is changeable in impact or emphasis, dependent on angle or light source.
Themes are focused around the simple presentation of symbolic images (such as the peacock, the tiger, the element of fire, the lighthouse, the moon) within a variety of settings.
Creativity is inspired by a daily meditation practice and greatly influenced by daily life, world events and the people, places and adventures that I have met along the way.
I have been especially inspired by my long standing love of Japan and South East Asia. Included in this, is the work of Katsushika Hokusai and the simplicity and colours of Malay batik artist, Chuah Thean Teng.

Artists Work