About Rae Saheli
Rae Saheli can’t recall a time when she wasn’t making art. It has been a part of her life from a very young age. Born in rural Victoria, she studied year 12 TOP Tertiary Orientated Program – Visual Arts and was mentored by Dick Bishop a well-known local artist who taught her traditional painting techniques. Following High School Rae majored in Painting and Life Drawing at TAFE Central Gippsland, Yallourn Campus. She also completed a Library Technician’s course working full time at Monash University Library.
With Dick’s passing, Rae moved to Melbourne to start a family. In 2009 she moved to the Gold Coast where she currently resides. With her family’s support and encouragement, she resumed her art training full time completing in 2020 an Advanced Diploma in Visual Arts at TAFE NSW, Murwillumbah Campus, majoring in painting and printmaking.
Her formal training belies Rae’s current art making process. No longer interested in the application of paint to render the world in expressive or colourful ways, Rae’s work is unique in that is made using a 12-guage shot gun. That’s right, Rae shoots her work! In a process that favours chance, chaos and randomness over any sense of pictorial order, Rae’s curiously beautiful pieces are the result of a woman with a shotgun, stoically aiming it, at various gun ranges around the country, towards pieces of canvas, plywood, aluminum and just about anything else you can think of that might look good pelted at high velocity.
The results of this intriguing process have been exhibited in many group exhibitions including: SWELL Sculpture festival 2021, AIRspace, Metro Arts 2020; (The Feel), Tweed Regional Art Gallery; (Gauge) and Northern Rivers Community Gallery; (Gauge). In early 2020 Rae was an inaugural participant in Retreat – a Walls Art Space emerging artist intensive – in which its directors Rebecca Ross and Chris Bennie oversaw and guided Rae and three other local artists develop work during an eight-week residency in the Walls Art Space.
While Rae has explored three dimensional forms in SWELL 2021, this year’s Swell Sculpture Festival will mark a major leap in her sculptural practice with more organic and random forms that are true to herself and her technique. Rae will showcase bolder pieces that will showcase her distinctive and dynamic technique within her sculptural practice, and allow for significantly more shooting to take place.
2022 SWELL ARTWORK – Space Between, Rae Saheli
Space Between is a series of large-scale copper panels using the artist’s distinctive art making technique—a 12-gauge shotgun. Space Between extends Rae’s material inquiry to copper, a metal she finds intriguing for its colour, reactivity to its surroundings, and how it responds to shotgun-pellets. After firing approximately fifty rounds at each panel and observing the dynamic results, Rae has chosen to present each piece in a way that amplifies their organic qualities floating within the landscape.
2022 INDUSTRIAL SWELL ARTWORK – Far Beyond The Shore
Far beyond the shore is a large-scale aluminium sphere using the artist’s distinctive art making technique to create explosive sculptural artworks. Far beyond the shore explores the intersection between random and controlled elements. Of particular interest to Rae is the unique results that occur when she creates her sculpture, the hundreds of small pellets that penetrate each surface in a dynamic yet unique way, warps the aluminium to receive each pellet as small protrusions.
Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 9-18 September.