Surreal and Dreamy with Artist Rosie Emerson
Posted in In the Studio by Rise Art on 14th July 2015
Rosie Emerson is a printmaker on the up!
Read on for a dreamy Q&A with the artist praised by the fashion
and art world alike for her otherwordly portraits.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Rosie Emerson, I am an artist, I mostly represent the female form by combining photography with collage and painting. I use screen-print and most recently an analogue photography technique called Cyanotype Photography.
When I experience a piece of art which touches me, it can touch what feels like my very bones, words fail, that makes the world a rich and wonderful place for me. Selfishly I love the thrill of making art, it is both testing and rewarding, and ultimately a fulfilling way to spend my days, it is also the language I feel my most eloquent in expressing myself through.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I have a Guinness World Record? Last summer I created the worlds Largest Cyanotype Photograph, measuring 46.8 Sq Meters. It was exposed and developed before a live audience at Hackney WickED Arts Festival, who also sponsored the piece. It was made on fabric using the sun as a giant enlarger. I used 3 friends to model and lie down on the surface alongside objects including netting, hula-hoops, colliders and a chandelier, these created negative shapes to create the artwork.
How did you get into art? Is it necessary to go to art school?
I come from a creative family, my sister and I were always drawing as kids - I drew everything, including A LOT of ballerinas! No I don’t think you need to go to art school, there are many examples of fantastic artists who come from different backgrounds like science, fashion, or theatre who produce really interesting work because of it. It helped me for sure. It exposed me to a lot of contemporary art, allowed to try out new mediums so I worked out what I liked using and it was really inspiring to see what my fellow students were making too.
How would you describe your pieces in 3 words?
Solitary, Female, Figures.
What are your favourite materials to use - or what materials do you find challenging or produce results which surprised you?
I have really enjoyed working with charcoal powder, it is quite unpredictable, and not knowing how a piece is going to turn out makes it exciting to make. Cyanotypes too have an element of magic about them, there is a big reveal after you have exposed, as it develops.
On average, how long does it take to complete a piece?
It varies hugely, from initial ideas, to contacting models, researching sourcing and sometimes making costumes and props. Then there is the day of the actual photo shoot, which is never rushed. I do both the hair and make up, and spend a lot of time getting the lighting just right - and that is just the beginning of the journey... Then there is post production on the computer, producing the work by hand, and then sometimes the works are finished with gold leaf or hand painting. I also work on several pieces at once, so it really is hard to say.
Who are your 3 favourite artists or influencers?
Anselm Kiefer, Julia Margaret Cameron and Max Ernst... if I absolutely had to pick three.
What type of setting do you visualize your work in?
I usually make work working towards a show in a gallery, so that is where I generally visualize it going. I love it when people send me pictures of the work in their homes; there it begins a new life in a way.
Who would be your ideal client to commission a piece?
I would like to do more commissions, it is an interesting and intimate process, I am open to any commission ideas people may have, but if Grace Jones wanted to commission me I wouldn’t say no.
What is your dream project?
I would love to create a public commission, I have worked on both private commissions and corporate ones, but I would like to create something public, either in a rural or urban environment. I believe here should be more art in public spaces. I am heartbroken that they just tore the Eduardo Paolozzi mosaic out of Tottenham Court Road station. I recently went to Bristol where someone had installed a streetlamp, which records your shadow as you walk underneath it, and then replays it, instantly, I loved it. Art is the perfect antidote to advertising and there should be more of it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
That the world doesn’t owe you a job
If you could own one work of art from Rise Art what would it be?
Anything by Fernando Velazquez
, I discovered his work years ago and was happy to see him on Rise Art recently. His paintings are so rich and romantic; I love the balance of energy and the otherworldliness of the landscapes he created.
View all of Rosie's dreamy prints here!