Monday, January 25, 2021

Rachel List: We're All In This Together

At the end of 2020, we were privileged to install a new exhibition at Pontefract Museum, the first ever solo show by local lockdown artist, Rachel List. Sadly, Covid restrictions mean we haven’t yet been able to welcome visitors to the exhibition in person so we thought we’d bring Rachel’s colourful and poignant work to you online instead.

When lockdown began, like many of us, Pontefract artist, Rachel could no longer go out to work. She normally spends her days painting murals in people’s homes, which was not allowed under the restrictions. But even though she was unable to do her day job, Rachel still had an urge to make art.

‘For me work is not just work, I’ve got that drive to create.' 

Rachel List

So she took her brushes with her on her daily exercise and started painting her murals outside instead, livening up walls around Pontefract while most of us were still sleeping. Her bright, colourful works brilliantly capture the spirit of that first lockdown when we clapped for the NHS.

‘A lot of us had been furloughed and were sitting at home feeling pretty useless … and it just seemed important to show support.’

As a museum service we also want to collect objects that capture and tell the stories of Covid and lockdown in our communities. But of course we can't collect a huge mural on a pub wall. So we are immensely grateful to Rachel for recreating some of her work in a more manageable format for the exhibition. These paintings will also become a permanent part of the museum collection, preserved to tell the story of Pontefract’s lockdown for future generations.

‘It’s all about how something good can come out of a bad thing. There will be a rainbow after the storm.’
Rachel List

Film produced by Voices and Video -

To see Rachel's murals in their original locations and enjoy more of her work, why not explore our StoryMap:

Have you enjoyed Rachel’s work on your lockdown walks? We’d love to see your photographs. Join in the conversation on social media using the hashtag #RachelList:

Twitter @WFMuseums, @Rachellist9
Facebook @PontefractMuseum 
Instagram @wakefieldmuseums, @rachthepachel

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