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Artist Rachel Milne finds creativity at Maitland Gaol


Artist Rachel Milne is finding a new look for Maitland Gaol. 

The professional fine art painter, who specialises in figurative and observational oil painting, is taking up residence at the historic building for the next few months.

Rachel’s impressionist style is expected to impress a wide range of visitors. 

Maitland Gaol destination manager Mike Baudinette says his team were thrilled when Rachel reached out with an idea to create a series of works of the 1848-built former penitentiary. 

“The space is full of amazing and quirky features, and it takes a special talent to represent them as Rachel does,” he says. 

“Our visitors on tours of the Gaol are both surprised and delighted to see Rachel painting in a cell block.  

“It is a special thrill to briefly watch an artist at work.” 

Rachel Milne is painting Maitland’s iconic 1848-built gaol, piece by piece

For Rachel, the tenure represents an opportunity to showcase a piece of history. 

“I want to shine a light on buildings that play an important role in our society and are rarely seen, under a process of change or just underrepresented in figurative painting,” she says.    

“Maitland Gaol has such a long history that I am hoping to do justice to, and it feels like a real privilege to have the chance to create a series of work with this residency.” 

Originally from Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Rachel moved to Newcastle in 2015 where she is now represented by the King Street Gallery on William, Sydney and the Sophie Gannon Gallery in Melbourne. 

She was awarded winner of the Singleton Portraiture Prize in 2013, she was a finalist in the Kilgour Prize at Newcastle Art Gallery in 2014, 2016 and 2018, as well as the prestigious Wynne Prize in 2017 and 2018 at the Art Gallery of NSW.  

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