Rose Sanderson lives and works in Bristol. Rose is intrigued and sees beauty in things generally disregarded in the world around, including natural history, entomology, anatomy and strange creatures.
Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I did a BA(hons) Illustration degree at the University of the West of England, Bristol. It was a really well structured course and I gained various technical skills with access to many different facilities. Learning about time management and deadlines etc was helpful, but none of it could prepare me for the real world. There is so much more to being an artist than actually creating art. Perhaps business studies would have been useful?! I have learnt much more since then through experience and life in general.
When and where did you first want to do what you do?
Ever since I could pick up a paintbrush I have wanted to do art, I can't imagine life without it. At school I knew I wanted to go to art college but never really thought beyond that career-wise. It is only in the last few years that I have realised I might actually be able to make a living from what I love, and what has always occupied my hands and mind.
One favourite living artist?
I love the work of James Jean, it is simply beautiful.
One favourite historical artist?
It is so hard to pick just one, as well as a favourite living artist, there are so many! Would it be cliché to say Leonado da Vinci? I love drawing, and his anatomical studies are stunning. His skills and interests span a whole lot further than painting too which I find very inspirational.
Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
Nature, life, death, things that I find around each corner; insects, little dead animals, old walls and peeling surfaces, the layers and the process of decay. Colour and texture. I see beauty in so many things, especially those that are generally disregarded by the average eye. I want others to appreciate these wonders. We live in a world that will never run out of things to amaze and inspire me.
What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
I used to do work in set building for television; paint effects etc which I really enjoyed. My past jobs have been pretty varied, including projectionist, bus driver and furniture restorer (to name a few). However, being an artist is the best one yet. Freedom is a great luxury.
Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
I have worked alongside other artists in exhibitions and community projects but I haven't really had what you would call a collaboration. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to though, I just haven't had the opportunity as yet.
At age 16 who most influenced your style?
I can't say I had a 'style' at 16, I find it hard to say that I have one now but I obviously do. I think its important to experiment and try new things, taking influences from all kinds of things, people and places: life would be so boring otherwise.
Last book / film that blew your mind?
I read 'Wonders of a Godless World' by Andrew McGahan, a great one for stirring the imagination and provoking thought. When I get into a good book, I find myself completely absorbed, in my own little bubble (a bit like when I'm painting!)
I listen to all kinds of things, my music taste is pretty eclectic, but it is mostly older stuff; ska, reggae, blues, funk, rock, punk; I like a good beat. Depending on my mood or the time of day, what I want to hear varies a fair bit. The radio is on a lot in my studio, usually Six music, or Four if we fancy a bit of intellect.
Who would you say buys your work?
Most of the time I don't know as it goes through the galleries. However, from the odd private sale or commission, I think it really varies; young/ old, male/female... I like to think that all sorts of people are captivated by my work.
Where and what is your studio?
I am based in Bristol at Jamaica Street Studios. I have a small mezzanine space up a ladder on the first floor of our building. It is pretty tight for me and all my work, but on the plus side it has a great view, is affordable, and is all mine. I am part of a great place with a lovely inspiring bunch of people (roughly 45 artists altogether), and I couldn't ask for anything more (except maybe more space, heating in the winter and air con in the summer!)
Do you have a good work/life balance?
I feel at the moment that it is more work-based, with hours that are all over the place, especially with a lot of shows in the pipeline. I find it hard to switch off, and my life does revolve around my art; if I'm not doing it then I am thinking about it. That said, I do find time to catch up with friends and family, and have been getting away most weekends. I enjoy my work too, most of the time, so I can't complain!
What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?
If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
Travelling, exploring the world. If I hadn't chosen the art route, I think I'd be doing something science based; entomology or zoology perhaps.
If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
Well, if I'm aiming high, I've always fancied the Guggenheim! I studied it in Art History years ago and the building itself is amazing. I've never been there but I fancy a trip to New York, and it would be an amazing place to have my work.
Any other relevant information?
I am looking forward to a couple of exciting shows that I'm involved in the next few months...
'WUNDERKAMMER: memories of a forgotten past', Small group show with The Bo-lee Gallery @The Octagon Chapel, Bath (September 2011).
'WILD LIFE', Selected Group show with Stolen Space Gallery, Brick Lane, London (December 2011)