Since returning home, Rachel has increasingly taken on more work behind the scenes, including being the executive producer of political thriller Total Control.
“Being able to be all over the scripts and have a say in the characters and their development and journey, it’s allowed me to do my absolute best work and has been really fulfilling,” she explains.
For her latest project, Great Southern Landscapes, Rachel is travelling around the country to explore iconic Australian artworks, where they were created and the cultural stories behind them.
The six-part series sees Rachel explore the fusion of art and social history as she visits the locations which inspired the works.
“I came up with the pitch for it, but I needed the great team behind Finding the Archibald to bring a little idea to life,” Rachel explains.
“It basically starts with me looking at a big and beautiful painting, stepping through it and going on a big adventure.”
It was an idea which came to The Wilds star during the long COVID lockdowns.
“We were in Melbourne for most of the two years of the pandemic,” she says. “I was looking at a beautiful landscape and thinking about how nice it would be to go straight through it and be there.”
Her journey delivered many incredible experiences, including riding on horseback to the spot along the Hawkesbury River where artist Arthur Streeton sat to paint The purple noon’s transparent might in 1896.
“It’s remarkable how little some of those views have changed, but being part of an artwork has protected them,” she says.
Rachel lives her life immersed in art and surrounded by its creators.
“My mum [Anna Griffiths] is an amazing artist. She’s got very talented hands,” she explains. “And I’m married to a very talented painter.”
It’s a skill, though, which Rachel readily admits hasn’t rubbed off on her.
“You’ll see in the very first episode it’s not a talent I inherited,” she explains with a laugh about a scene of her painting.
“When I was younger, I didn’t have the patience to put in the hours of practice I knew I needed to in order to be good.”
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