Artist Interview: Rose Sanderson

Rose Sanderson’s pieces depict the smaller members of the animal kingdom such as insects and birds. From
her tight, specimen like representations on antique book covers, to her larger, more dramatic and dynamic
paintings, Rose attempts to show the frailty of these creatures whilst also emphasising their importance. Her
strong use of colour makes for incredibly vibrant and eye catching works that have been exhibited in
Amsterdam, Brussels, New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Singapore, and garnered her
attention from publications such as Dazed and Confused magazine. This month Antlers is excited to be
taking her work to Bristol’s own Affordable Art Fair and ahead of this, we asked her a few questions.

Rose Sanderson - Lantern Fly - Acrylic on Book - AVAILABLE

Rose Sanderson - Lantern Fly - Acrylic on Book

You have a quotation on your website by painter, Paul Klee: “Art does not reproduce the visible,
rather it makes it visible”. What does this mean to you and your practice?
There is a lot in front of our eyes which we do not see. It may sound corny but beauty is all around us, and I
am particularly interested in painting the things that may go unnoticed, or tend to be disregarded. By
studying things like insects, anatomy and death, I hope to show an appreciation for what once was, and what

Why did you decide to use book covers as your canvas?
Much of my work is based on the fragility of life, and to me the book covers represent a story or a passage in
time, emphasised by the subject matter painted upon them. Beetles for example feed of decaying matter to
survive; they are part of nature’s cycle. It’s all about recycling, regeneration, metamorphosis, life and death,
and the materials I use relate to this.

Rose Sanderson - Baorisa hieroglyphica - Acrylic on Book - AVAILABLE

Rose Sanderson - Baorisa hieroglyphica - Acrylic on Book

With your newer works you have started to use a splattering technique alongside the dripping and
bleeding of paint. These techniques contrast your very precise specimen like paintings on book covers,
what do you get out of the different styles of working?
The technique is nothing new, although I do only really use it where I feel necessary to give a feeling of
movement and life rather than just for the sake of it. It is produced simply with a brush, some paint, and a bit
of a flick! It’s spontaneous but in a controlled manner.
I have found a way to combine my expressive side with my more controlled one (in my current bird
paintings especially). Although some works may be more separate and appear quite different, they are
actually linked through the ideas behind them. As for what I get out of these different styles of working?
Variety and freedom to express myself depending on my mood, which I feel is important in keeping the
works fresh and interesting.

Rose Sanderson - Escape I - AVAILABLE

Rose Sanderson - Escape I

How do you decide which creatures to reproduce and where do you go to for source material?
I am generally painting birds and insects at the moment as I believe they represent the ideas I am trying to
convey at this point in time. I source my material from a variety of places; some are from real life, some
from photographs taken by others or myself. The creature’s colour, shape, type etc. will be taken into account
to work alongside the overall painting’s composition and feel, and the pose will also be considered so the
animal fits amongst it’s painted environment. I want the subject and it’s background to work together in
harmony, however abstract it may seem.

Rose Sanderson white scarab web- AVAILABLE

Rose Sanderson - White Scarab

When you first started working with Antlers your work was a bit darker; the foetuses and the resting
soul series, what precipitated your shift in tone?
I don’t feel that my work has shifted a great deal, maybe on the surface, but there are still the same core ideas
underneath. I continue to study, draw and paint from the subjects that interest me. I have never really
considered my approach to death to be dark though, it is just nature.
Are you looking forward to taking part in the AAF Bristol?
It will be good to exhibit at Bristol AAF as it is in the city where I live and work, therefore I have a special
attachment to it, and the people within it.

Rose Sanderson - Resting Soul III - SOLD

Rose Sanderson - Resting Soul III

What else have you got lined up?
I am doing a lot of experimenting right now with some new work, which is fun but also quite hard. As easy
as it may be to stick with what you know, or what others know you for, I believe it is really important to
move out of the comfort zone every now and again to keep the passion going, and the art moving forward. I
am in the process of planning a move to San Francisco for a little while towards the end of the year so it is
going to be exciting to see how my art progresses under new influences. Forthcoming shows are in the
pipeline but details are not yet confirmed… watch this space!

Rose Sanderson - Lost and Found - Acrylic on Wood - AVAILABLE

Rose Sanderson - Lost and Found - Acrylic on Wood

To read more about Rose and view available originals and limited edition prints see her page :-

Words: – Celia Archer
Images:- Courtesy Rose Sanderson