Renee's work is inspired by photographic images of young women and girls originating from photographs, most of which are found in historical sources, but some of which are taken by her. The resulting portraits are not painted from life, but from the image of life as captured in a moment in time by the photographer. She chooses portraits of children who are posed in formal clothing and artefacts which represents the process of domestication to which they are subjected. They often appear patient, content or quietly mutinous as they wait and hope to become themselves.
A haunting evocative look is often what draws Renee to a particular photograph. She aspires to produce paintings with an underlying emotional content without it becoming overtly obvious. Sometimes they provoke childhood memories or simply a feeling of ambiguity. Her initial response is usually intuitive and the work slowly evolves from that.
Born in Amsterdam in 1957, Renee came to England in 1977 and attended the Byam School of Art from 1981 till 1984 leaving with a BA, she then did the first year of the MA in Fine Art at Goldsmith's College. Moving to Cambridge in 1990 she has been joint Head of Art at King's College School since 1996.
Renee's work has been shown internationally and in 2010 she was elected a member of the Art Workers Guild. In 2012 she was a visiting fellow at Rutger's University in New Jersey USA as part of the Institute for Women and Art, working at the Brodsky Centre for Innovative Prints and produced 50 silkscreens, some of which are exhibited in the gallery.