Youth Photographer-in-Residence

Meet ROSE RUSSELL – Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Youth Photographer-in-Residence!

The Youth Photographer programme exists to help celebrate the Swindon Collection of Modern British Art and bring it to life in new ways. It provides a unique development opportunity in a professional arts environment for young Swindon photographers.

Rose, 19, is a talented photographer with a particular interest in sport and exercise, portraiture, and digital manipulation techniques. A graduate of New College Swindon, Rose already has significant successes behind her and is taking her first steps towards a photographic career.

To find out more about Rose and see more of her amazing work, check out her website, including her brilliant ‘artist of the month’ blog; find her on Facebook: or browse her online shop

Rose’s Photographic Commissions:

As part of her role, Rose produces photographic responses to the Swindon Collection, helping to interpret and explore this nationally significant art collection. She also acts as a fantastic young ambassador for the Gallery, inspiring other young people with an interest in photography. She works hard to make the Collection more accessible to a wider audience.


For her first commission, we asked Rose to explore ideas of dystopia. We asked her to use the Swindon Collection of Modern British Art as inspiration and to consider the impacts of the pandemic.

Rose said: ‘I love this mythical 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.’


Rose staged a social media take-over for us in August 2020, creating daily creative prompts to inspire people during lockdown. Each one featured an artwork from the Swindon Collection alongside one of Rose’s images. See them all HERE:


As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, we asked Rose to consider the effects which the pandemic has had on our mental health. She created this powerful series:


As part of a need to re-connect with each other and the planet after a turbulent year, we asked Rose to respond to the theme of ‘creative connections’.

Rose said: ‘The relationship between humans and nature is a strong theme in the Swindon Collection, and I decided to explore this connection by creating work that shows how the shapes, patterns and colours of nature fit and work within us’.


Rose has exhibited her work as part of the Art on Tour Pop-Up Gallery which has toured Swindon throughout 2021.

We interviewed Rose as part of our Meet the Artist video series where we quiz artists with work in the Swindon Collection. You can watch the short video HERE. Rose gives a fantastic insight into her inspirations and offers useful advice for any would-be photographers!

We chatted to Rose as part of the Art on Tour blog to get her illuminating perspective on lockdown creativity.

Rose has also contributed ideas for the Art on Tour schools programme.