Forcefully Unveiled


A majority of young women in the Netherlands has experienced sexual harassment. One in ten students has been raped. Rachels work shines a light on a very relevant social subject: violence against women. Her paintings depict women bodies in moments of confusion and abuse and in moments of strength and fierceness.

Her work from Forcefully Unveiled was exhibited at the Graduation Show of Academy Minerva.

Forcefully Unveiled is an ongoing series. In 2024 Rachel made a new work contributing to it: Leda and the swan.

Leda and the swan is a classical theme in art. The story comes from Greek mythology; Zeus wants to have sex with Leda but she does not. Zeus thinks of a way to convince her. He makes himself unrecognizable by turning himself into a swan. He acts as if he is being hunted by an eagle claiming to be a victim himself. He uses this to seek safety near Leda so he can have sex with her.

The swan has a stoic look on his face, unaware of the violent act he is committing. He deprives Leda of a way to get away and locks her in a suffocating position. Zeus rapes Leda, an act that overturns the soul of another human being.

Why has this story been painted for centuries as if Leda enjoyed this moment? Why is there not one artwork featuring the violence happening here?

This painting takes a lonely stance: unveiling this mythological narrative making visible the violent act of rape.

The painting as well as the frame cuts right through the middle like the act of rape cuts through another person’s being, another person’s soul.

Rachel is working on a new project, collaborating with other women. Click here for more information.