On the Couch with Rosie Perl

rosie-perl-arts-review-on-the-couchWho is Rosie Perl?
An artworker. There once was an artist’s advocacy group (now defunct) I first came across as an art student in the late 80’s, The Queensland Artworkers Alliance. I loved everything about this title. Artworker seemed so right, so accurate a description to me! And ‘artist’ seems so subjective and arbitrary, so laden with pejoratives sometimes. I work! And this is my profession. So it’s been my self-awarded title ever since. I’m always working. I make artworks. I’m an art worker.

I’ve just completed a large body of work for my first solo show at The Lost Ones Gallery Ballarat, and its work I’m proud of; it may seem like very personal work, but really the themes are big ticket, universal ones such as faith, loss, and how memory stretches, distorts, embellishes and evaporates through time. Time as a concept and as told by the practice of art making are central concerns.

What would you do differently to what you do now?   
Lordy! I wouldn’t change a thing, even the bad things. I’m at peace with myself as far as that goes, at this stage of the game.

Who inspires you and why?
Artistically, impossible to not mention Louise Bourgeois, personally, my family. Family because they believe in me, often despite myself, and that lends me courage, teaches me resilience and drives me forward. Louise, EVERYTHING; she believed in herself all along.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Be honest, but like honest ALL the time. That’d probably change the world if we all did it.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Ritz Carlton Sharm El Sheik. On the Red Sea in the Sinai desert. We family holidayed there once, not an art gallery or museum in sight. Capital H holiday. Perfect.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Last visitor we had was a cousin from Germany (not my side) and the first place I took her was my favorite fabric shop. We love to sew cool clothes and Australia has a better fabric shop (Tessuti) than I found in all the years I lived in London, for range and price.

What are you currently reading?
My mother bought me a subscription to Vogue Australia last Christmas, so Christmas arrives every month, wheee! I am keenly interested in fashion. I like to look nice and making my own clothes has always felt like a natural extension of my art making.

What are you currently listening to?
Fbi Radio. New music, half from Australia and half of that from Sydney. I love alternative music and independent radio.

Happiness is?
All these things above.

What does the future hold for you?
God laughs at my plans, I’ve seen Him. The best is yet to come, I know that much.

Featuring a series of works on canvas, relief sculptures and mise-en-scènes, Rosie’s exhibition Inscapes is on display at Ballarat’s The Lost Ones Gallery until 30 October 2016. For more information, visit: www.thelostones.com.au for details.

Image: Rosie Perl