Rachael Speirs' work is categorized and recognized through her usage of scrap fabric, embroidery and paint to create storytelling images that provoke an atmosphere of nostalgia. Rachael draws on a variety of influences ranging from antiquities, aged material, fairytales, folk lore, samplers, history, music, theatre and poetry to the simple and mundane act of listening to wind howl.
Born in 1984 Rachael had a fascination with art and worked independently and privately on her creations, sometimes hiding her work as it often contained scraps of fabric that she stole from her mothers' and grandmothers sewing baskets. On rainy weekends she would walk to the local antique mall or cemetery, both peaceful places where she would spend hours exploring the mysteries of each item and creating a story in her imagination. The elaborate and fantastical stories she creates are steeped in metaphors as a way to translate questions of daily life and distort the unpleasant or mundane into an absurd and fractured folk tale.
Rachael Speirs began painting as a toddler as art was always encouraged in her household. She remembers having 'art days' with her older brother where one day a week they would work in the basement of their home, painting caricatures of each other and making small sculptures that expanded in water. Throughout grade school and high school she was always known as 'the art kid' and spent a lot of time in solitude, painting on the back of old posters and slabs of discarded wood often using tools she invented herself and salvaging (or stealing) scraps of fabric from her mother's sewing basket to create dolls and artwork. During this time Rachael privately studied opera for over four years. Rachael holds both Canadian and American citizenships and upon graduating from high school she chose to travel throughout the United States. She lived in California for almost a year before living on Mackinac Island in Michigan where she worked for local artist Maeve Croghan. Upon her return she went to school to become a social service worker and was consistently encouraged by her professor to pursue her love of art. She worked in the field as a career counselor for over 4 years, eventually running programs for the City of Toronto. As a career counselor she encouraged authenticity and honesty in ones perusal of meaningful work. Her belief in the strength of human potential lead her to take a risk in 2010 follow her own calling as an artist.