artist interviews

rachel abelha

@rachel.abelha, twenty two, she/her

what is your art form?

multi-disciplinary artist, dabbling in a variety of art forms; theatre and various written forms (poetry, short & long fiction, scripts).

what do you do and why do you do it?

i tell stories in a variety of different forms. i want to make people feel what i do. for people to take a piece of my heart and place it into their own. it’s about people, and the connections that can be explored between us through stories and art.

who/what has inspired you in your artistic practice and why?

i feel constantly inspired by the incredible artists that i am surrounded with and have met over the last few years. they have inspired me because a core part of my artistic practice is understanding the connections between people, and the different ways that people see and feel things. being able to partake and experience in other peoples artwork is a massive inspiration to me.

what do you think your role is as an artist? has anything stopped you from fulfilling this role?

my role as an artist is to be a storyteller, to find and explore the connections between people to show that we’re really not that different, after all. i think my main obstacle is self-doubt, questioning whether i have the right to tell these stories of connection, and whether people will be interested in hearing them.

what have been the biggest challenges in your artistic journey?

the largest challenge to my artistic journey has been myself. i have the tendency to doubt myself and my art. i feel like if i learn to be more courageous in the sharing of my work, i can fulfil my goal further.

do you believe that good art comes from turmoil and suffering, or is that a romantic notion?

i believe that good art can come from suffering, but i don’t think it should, or that suffering is the only way to create good art. i think the most powerful art can come from the pursuit of hope instead of focusing on suffering.

how do you feel your age impacts your experience as an artist?

throughout my whole artistic journey so far, i have felt the pressure to achieve great things, fuelled by comparison to other people my age. i find myself comparing the progress and work of other people my age to myself.

what about your gender/race/sexuality/disability etc.?

i feel that as a woman i have to work twice as hard as men to get roles due to the competition. i also feel the pressure to always be professional and perfect, when compared to male counterparts who seem to get away with being unprofessional without consequences. i have had the fortune to feel accepted and welcomed in the art spaces i have been working in.

when it comes to art, what would you tell your younger self?

i would tell my younger self not to doubt herself so much. i create without limits, because the only opinion that matters is my own.

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