Rosie Emerson

Rosie Emerson is a contemporary artist working almost exclusively on representing the female form. Emerson’s figures draw reference from archetypes old and new; from Artemis to the modern day supermodel, each solitary figure becomes an allegory of her own fantasy.

Her work is widely collected and exhibited both in the UK and internationally, through galleries, art fairs and museums. She has been commissioned by leading brands such as Sony, Triumph Underwear, Redbull and P&O Cruises. Her work has also been featured in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Another Magazine, The Financial Times Magazine and The Sunday Times Style Magazine.

A talented artist with a unique and individual style, Emerson has had a number of recent accomplishments, including creating a new world record in 2014 by making the world’s largest Cyanotype photograph. She also won the Bridgeman Studio Award 2015, and now has a range of exclusive products available on CultureLabel.

Rosie Emerson's latest works will be shown in a solo exhibition entitled 'Enigmas', opening on the 10th September 2015 at Turner & Barnes Gallery. 

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 Under the Harvest Moon, 2015  Ira, 2014

What is your earliest memory of an artwork and who was it by?

My parents have a black and white print of 'The Golden Stairs' by Edward Burn Jones, it's beautiful. It was many years before I discovered it was a colour painting, and many more before I saw it in the flesh, it is a stunning piece of work.


What is your favourite time of day to be in your studio?

Ooh tricky one, I’d say early evening, around 8 or 9pm, when most people are no longer working. It’s what I call bonus time, there is no pressure to be working, it is when I am most relaxed and when I enjoy making the most.


Talk us through a day in the life of Rosie Emerson - What does a day in your life look like?

I get up around 7 or 8 am, walk our dog Prince on the Hackney marshes, get back, and crack on with my day - which can mean anything from a photo-shoot, to post production on the computer, collecting negatives or positives depending on what I am working on, answering emails, hand finishing, doing deliveries... My day is usually a combination of tasks. I work from home, and don’t have set hours. My studio is incredibly light, and some of my photography work requires for me to wait until it gets dark in order to work. No day is the same and I think that’s great.


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 Ophelia No. 3, 2013  Tiger's Bride No. 3, 2012

How would you sum up your practice in 5 words?

Experimental, figurative, photography, hand-finished, decadent.


What’s your most useful tool?

Masking tape. It sounds very dull, but it really is my studio staple!


You work using a variety of unusual materials like dust and ash – what drew you to these materials and which processes most inspire your work?

It grew from a desire to get back into screen-printing, and making work with my hands. I wanted to screen-print, but I knew I didn’t want a flat image, all the prints have subtle texture, and are all slightly different, I love that all the prints vary and that the materials are unpredictable to work with especially charcoal and metallic powders. The fact that I don’t know how each print is going to turn out makes them exciting to create.


You were recently commissioned by Hackney WickED Art Festival to create the world’s largest Cyantype photograph, earning yourself a world record in the process – Tell us more about this fantastic project and the sheer logistics of how you achieved it.

Yes, it was one of the most challenging and fun things I have ever done; I had lots of volunteer friends helping me on the day. I created the piece on Canvas. I hand mixed jugs of chemicals to make the light sensitive emulsion, I worked in sections hand coating the fabric (at night in my studio), drying them and covering them before the sun rose-  I soon discovered the summer nights are very short! 


The sections were then sewn together, also under the cover of darkness; the actual exposure was a mere 3 minutes, as the sun thankfully shone bright and exposed the artwork. The exposure took place before a live audience of several hundred people; I used a combination of natural materials, live models and objects including puppets and a chandelier to create the piece, which measures 48.6 Sq metres.

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You have also been commissioned by the likes of Sony, Triumph and Annoushka Jewellery. These are all very different brands, so how do you find working to commission and do you find it pushes your work in new directions?

Absolutely, every commission I have undertaken I have always learnt so much from.  It is important for me to grow and for the work to develop, whether it be a change in scale, materials or subject matter. I have been very fortunate to work with some really inspiring photographers, makers and models.


What convinced you to join Bridgeman Studio for licensing, and what are your hopes for working as a Bridgeman Studio artist?

I have been a member of The Artist Collecting society for some years, and they are a lovely team of people. This is the first time I have made my artworks available for licensing. The type of projects Bridgeman work on are excellent and I felt like my work would be in fine company alongside the artists they represent.


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 Asteria, 2014  Lena, 2014

What would you most like to see your images licensed for?

A book cover, that would be fun, but I am very open minded about it.


If you could pick 5 artists, dead or alive, to have dinner with who would they be and why?

Leonora Carrington, Max Ernst, Lorenzetti, Man Ray and Julia Margaret Cameron because I admire them all, and what a combination of creative minds it would be!


See all of Rosie Emerson's works available for licensing here

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