As winner of the Queensland Regional Art Awards 2015, Cairns-based artist Rose Rigley was provided with a residency at Jugglers Art Space. Here she responds to some of the questions we had of her on completion of her residency.
What was offered by the residency was the opportunity to have a full week dedicated to CREATIVITY. For any artist, at whatever stage of their career, or for anyone who juggles the mundane and the secular with a driving creative passion, this is purely and simply a complete LUXURY! Time is one of the greatest and most elusive of our resources – time to think, time to ponder, time to dream, time to create, time to breathe, time to remember, time to wonder – and this is what the residency allowed.
The focus of my artwork did not change dramatically from my residency at Jugglers, nor did my creative interests. What did happen – as I stained, tore and stitched paper – was a deeper understanding of my core practice and where I fit within the larger art world. As an emerging artist entering my 5th year of practice, knowing my place, having confidence in my own work and settling into my area of focus is a great gift. The residency permitted me time to breathe, to consider and to find something deeper.
From the residency, I now have the foundation of a new paper-based installation work. There is something quite poetic in the rhythm of creating, deconstructing and reassembling paper into something that may or may not become something greater. From my perspective, there is a ‘magic’ in the construction of small works in great number and these new works are currently among my favourites.
Using monoprint, staining, mixed media and stitching techniques, I have created 278 double-sided compositions on Fabriano 360gsm paper. Of these, 86 are completed or are near completion, with a further 192 awaiting more work. Each work measures 17.5 (h) x 12.5 (w) cm and each tells their own story.
There is an intimacy about these works. As I was stitching through the paper, I was reminded of my mother stitching together the memories of her life, holding the fragments of a life not yet over, but not quite whole, mending the torn sections with love and care and creating new connections between the lives of her mother, her life and my life. The constant noise, the oppressive heat and throbbing verve of the first week in February in Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley encircled me while I stitched backwards into memory and thought of the people that I loved and missed, being so far from home.
I live in a relatively small city, with a vibrant, supportive and enthusiastic arts community. Stepping away from the familiarity of this home base to the ‘edginess’ of the ‘Valley’ lead to personal growth. Creating a new work in a ‘strange’ environment away from my studio and being immediately creative to take advantage of all my residency time lead to growth. Even small things like negotiating and mastering the public transport system lead to growth.
Immediately after my residency, I returned home to install of my current solo exhibition, (a 45 metre long photogravure paper-based work), at KickArts Contemporary Arts. In early March I headed over to Singapore to install an interactive piece based on loss and the passing of time in an invited international exhibition at Shophouse5 Gallery. I have just this week completed a suite of 20 photogravure prints for an exhibition scheduled for later in the year. My next pressing priority is to produce new works for my next solo (May 2016).
Jugglers Art Space Residency, provided as part of the Wayne Kratzman prize of the 2015 Queensland Regional Art Awards
Rose Rigley – Winner of the 2015 Queensland Regional Art Awards
Image credit: Rose Rigley.