Graduated Wellington Polytechnic School of Design in 1977; Master of Design (distinction), Massey University, 2012.
Rosemary explores materials through printmaking, textiles, painting and installation. Her work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows. In 1988 she was ‘Artist in Residence’ for the (then) QE11 Arts Council, New Zealand.
In 2012 images from her Master’s project, ‘Rising Up – Running Out, An Exploration of Oil’, an installation at Guy’s Body Shop, were shown on the 2nd floor screen at Saatchi Gallery, London. She has won a number of awards including the 34th Mini Print International of Cadaqués in 2014. The following year her solo exhibition was held at Taller Galleria Fort, Spain.
Rosemary has taught at the former Wellington Polytechnic School of Design (Massey University), Whitireia Polytechnic, Inverlochy Art School, and taken many workshops for organisations such as the PCANZ (The Print Council of Aotearoa New Zealand).
I began my art practice as a printmaker, and in recent years I have returned to print processes, using the detritus of industry and nature to make my work. The abandoned nests I have printed here at my studio in Te Horo, use diverse materials… building waste, horsehair, baling twine, hay, feathers. I enjoy the way birds build their nests from whatever they can find in their local environment. It seemed especially relevant during lockdown.
In this process there is no drawing, no plate, the nests are printed unaltered, the ink manipulated directly into the fragile construction to record its gradual disintegration through the printmaking process. They are the real thing.
I made the eggs from other materials initially, thinking that printing a real egg would be impossible. After many ‘eggy experiments’, I succeeded in using eggshell to make the more recent eggs. All the nests are technically very difficult and time consuming to print. I think most printmakers would agree that this endeavour is completely nuts, but the results are worth it I think ;)
Although the editions are optimistically set at 20, the chances of the nest lasting that long can be very slim. The prints are E.V. (edition variable), so the colours vary, the nest changes as it falls apart, some have eggs and some don't. In many ways every print is like an original ‘painting’, but I edition them because each one, within the edition, comes from the same nest. It is difficult to attribute a traditional printmaking term to these works, so I describe them as ‘Intaglio from found objects’, which references the process as accurately as I can. Arguably, others might call them monoprints, or collagraphs.