To mask up, or not mask up? Two metres, or one metre plus? Risk going to the pub? Go shopping? Hmm, maybe next week… There’s no doubt that the world is full of questions we never thought we’d be asking ourselves. One thing we can all agree on though… These sure are strange times.
It’s therefore perfectly apt that Art on Tour’s Young Photographer, Rose Russell, explores themes of dystopia and fantasy in her manipulated digital imagery. So we thought we’d spend the week sharing some scarily good photographs by this talented New College student, which re-imagine artworks in Swindon’s collection.
The first haunting piece is inspired by Marguerite Horner’s painting ‘Walled in by Feelings’ which explores themes of transience, intimacy, loss and hope. The second spellbinding photo is influenced by David Breuer-Weil’s ‘Bound’, a drawing which, when viewed in the context of the times we’re living in, seems to reflect the anxieties associated with ingestion and exposure.
In discussing her work, Rose also refers to fairy tales and mythical beings in a seemingly every day setting:
The work displayed is from my mythical series, which I started while studying photography in college and recently decided to expand. I love this series because it is breaking the boundaries of normal life, creating these surreal images depicting mermaids and witches in a seemingly normal setting. As an artist I really enjoy manipulating my images in Photoshop, I feel that it is a great way to expand my creativity and make my imagination come to life. As a child I liked fairy tales and the idea of mystical and magical beings hiding in our normal world. As a young adult I wanted this fantasy to come to life for my childhood self.
In her most recent photograph ‘Covid’ (top), Rose directly responds to the worry many people are experiencing in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. Using photo-manipulation, the work speaks of the experience of trying to outrun a powerful and harmful force.
Before rounding off, we want to say a huge thank you to Rose for sticking with us in these tough times, creating these fantastic images in response to Swindon’s collection and the current crisis, and using this as a valued opportunity to expand her practice.
If you want to see more from Rose, you can follow her on Facebook @rose_r_photography or Instagram @rose_photography_business. To take a look at her full portfolio you can also visit https://roserussellphotogr.wixsite.com/rosephotography/portfolio.
Blogpost by Katie Ackrill