Interview: Kate Rossini
Luca Curci talks with Kate Rossini during CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space, and during RITUALS, first appointment of the ANIMA MUNDI 2022, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Kate Rossini is a Londoner and her work is about exploring aspects of her own identity using surrealist techniques to access the subconscious mind, exploring the juxtaposition between methodologies that impose rules and elements of chance in creating work and those freed from rational control. She is not fixed on one theme on genre, her work is a journey of exploration, looking for unexpected connections and meaning through the act of making. Spontaneity, allowing work to emerge from the process of doing, responding, and letting go gives her creative permission to be bolder and more experimental. Travel has had a profound impact on her work: how colors are used differently in different cultures, how the figure is conveyed or attitudes towards identity (particularly the feminine), devotional art, use of perspectives, the art of propaganda… Themes running through her work include otherness, the feminine & totemic, the mask as a metaphor for identity, emblems, symbols, underlying meaning/subversion, and optical effects. She often works in repetition for its meditative and spiritual quality, using music as inspiration. Work is centered around her own story, personal mythology, and childhood memories drawing from memories of her youth in the 1980s with its music scene, neons, bold colors, and minimalism, underlined by an anything goes, DIY “can do” attitude. The significance and modesty of materials feature in Kate’s work – most recently the use of domestic paint & building supplies – as are the use of found objects, reimagining existing work, repurposing objects with a new life, or ‘identity’ and using recyclable/sustainable resources.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Kate Rossini – I practiced law for over 25 years and art always had a prominent place in my life as a way to decompress and recalibrate. I love immersing myself in exhibitions, traveling, and taking opportunities to experience the art of other cultures. I am developing a creative business practice based on a model of working with like-minded people/clients to curate their own spaces within their home, office, or public space and help to deliver their artistic vision: either by creating bespoke artwork, sourcing art from current practitioners, commissioning works from new, upcoming artists & makers and working with fabricators in developing new techniques. Recycling, up-cycling, reformulating & reimagining are key concepts for me as are using sustainable materials and resources in the development of work. These together with reworking existing objects are cornerstones of my practice. I believe art has the opportunity to heal as well as express important feelings and messages – it also bridges gaps created through societal constructs, political/culture, and words, which can divide and use visual language as a universal way of communication.
LC – What are you currently working on?
KR – I’m trying to find aspects of my identity that have been lost or hidden throughout my professional life, to shed that skin/persona and rediscover what it is to be me, I use creative strategies to explore my conscious and unconscious mind, thoughts and feelings: centered around my own identity: the feminine viewpoint rather than the masculine (Dadaism and surrealism), using the colors of my youth (1980’s), collections as they relate to my childhood, mark-making and the simplicity of line as an exploration of memory. My aim is to create work that is self-referential, and reflective of my identity in the context of my childhood memories and the feminine: contextual perspectives and methodologies include surrealism (exploration of the feminine rather than the political); elements of chance & simple external rules to guide the work, accepting my instinctive responses as work emerges to help discover my own visual language; concrete & process art: exploring creative processes to precipitate personal insight and create work that represents abstract thoughts in a tangible form. My work has an open easy aesthetic – accessible for all viewers, a calming ‘space’, with deep and hidden meaning around my own identity, life, and memories.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
KR – To allow me to fail, be curious, break the rules and accept that feeling lost is often the beginning of the creative process, and importantly letting go of planning, and procrastination – to be more spontaneous, experimental, and less positional in the outcome: embracing both the negative and positive as part of the journey.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
KR – My work is in a constant state of change, it is about exploration and experimentation; my style alters and adapts depending on what processor materials I have chosen, the impact of elements of chance and rules, or just by ‘doing’. It is also dependent on my state of mind during the creative process or what I might be trying to convey, which is changing as I discover more about myself, my identity, and my own practice. I am reluctant to be fixed to a certain style or genre, as life my work will be in a constant state of becoming, reflecting the journey as life progresses.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
KR – Found it very inspiring, where curators use creative prompts or ideas as a theme it is important that the concept is wide, ambiguous, or flexible enough that it gets the creative ideas flowing and doesn’t seek to pigeonhole artists’ work into particular categories. I Think ITSLIQUID does this very well. Canvas allowed me to bring in elements of skin and identity as the medium for my work.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
KR – These works are an exploration of identity and how we are often in life required to assume a persona in response to how others might perceive us or what ‘image’ we may wish or be required to convey. We often change our look or behavior depending on the situation, adapting in order to ‘fit in’, like a chameleon changes color to match its surroundings so that it cannot be seen. For me, identity is the duality between my exterior self, the ‘me’ that seeks to be accepted/acceptable, and the inner me, my true self, and my sense of ‘otherness’ which is hidden. Sometimes we can be invisible in a crowd, or sometimes demand to be seen. Skin, like outward shows of identity, need not define us or be used as camouflage; it can be changed or even shed, identities of old cast aside so that a truer open self can be revealed. The works are each named for a genus of a chameleon. Spectral: showing bright colors of the spectrum, standing out but also that of a ghost, a secret, invisible spirit; Furcifer: from the Latin for ‘forked’ as in divergent paths the word was also used to describe both a bonded person or a rogue; Veiled: ways of behaving, or words, that are indirect, unclear and also of being covered, masked or disguised.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
KR – ITSLIQUID has a valuable contribution to make to any artist’s creative journey and I am excited to be part of the exhibition. It provides events, publications, and an established platform to promote emerging artists and bring them together for collaboration through exhibitions. Importantly the concepts suggested providing ongoing themes for artists to use as creative prompts, which is essential in these challenging times when we have all felt shut-in/out one way or another. Not only has it allowed me to network, meet, share ideas and learn from other artists but it provided an excellent platform for work to be seen internationally and to a wide and democratic audience.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
KR – I very much enjoyed working with ITSLIQUID, the whole team was very attentive and professional, with excellent communication and follow-up.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
KR – The organization was also excellent, as was the use of interviews, social media, flyers, and other promotions.