A young black artist who set up a crowdfunder to help cover the cost of a studio has been left ‘completely overwhelmed’ after raising nearly £4,000 from wellwishers.
Rachel Isabel Mukendi, who lives in Lewisham, set up her GoFundMe page in the hope she could have some financial security after graduating while she focuses on her work.
The former Chelsea College of Arts student focuses on mixed media collages, exploring the black female experience and her own identity.
Writing about the inspiration behind her work, Rachel says: “My collages were created to explore the autonomy of black women.
“They were created as a direct response to the lack of representation within the arts. They were created to make you sit still, in moments where you didn’t even know you needed to, to help you breathe, to help you think about everything and nothing at all at the same time.
“I recycle images and piece them together to create a narrative, a dialogue that’s beyond the conversations surrounding the black female body, the worlds we house inside of ourselves, the things we say out loud.
“Our existence has consistently been politicised. We are a force of nature and we have endured everything.”
She hopes to raise £20,000 to help replace a broken laptop, set up her own website, rent studio space, buy equipment and cover printing costs.
Those to donate include fans of her work who describe it as ‘strong’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘thought provoking’ with one supporter saying: “Your art is breathtaking; I really believe you should be given the space to pursue it and I hope you meet your goal.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like your art before, it’s really really so beautiful.
“I’m sorry to not be able to donate more, you deserve everything.”
Rachel’s artwork ‘Submerged’ was recently donated to Platform LDN with proceeds going to support Know Your Rights Camp U.S. and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust UK in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Support Rachel here: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/Support-Black-London-Female-Artist-Rachel-Isabel
Follow her on Instagram @Rachel_Isabelle