Our friends at Second Floor Studios and Arts have been fortunate enough to work with and showcase some of the very best of London's hidden artistic talent. Rosalind Davis, an artist, curator, author and teacher, is the epitome of talent and creative flair that London has to offer.
With a new modular sculpture exhibition kicking off at no format gallery, at our Deptford Foundry development this September (12th - 16th), Rosalind has been keeping herself busy over the summer, we caught up with her and find out more about what she's been up to...
Hi Rosalind, can you tell us a bit about you and your background?
I graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005, in Mixed Media. From there, I quickly began exhibiting my paintings in shows around the Deptford, New Cross and wider London art scene as well as internationally. My paintings were always inspired by buildings and architecture - I have always been fascinated by the artistry of buildings and how one creates a space. It was this fascination that led me to developing more into sculpture and installation; I found myself wanting to take elements of the painting into a 3D space that would then intervene with it, rather than creating a painting which would hang static on a wall. By moving into sculpture design and installations, I have found myself able to make my work fluid and ever-evolving, by constantly adding or subtracting to my work, and having an endless conversation with it. I still create paintings, and the two forms speak to each other and inform each other as they share the same component parts of architectural space.
How did you come across Second Floor Studios and Arts and the no format gallery?
I have known Matthew (Wood, of SFSA) for many years through the ever-evolving Deptford art scene, and have watched the no format gallery continue to grow and develop over the years. I was exhibiting some of paintings in the Three100 fundraiser recently which Matthew and Nichole had organised and upon seeing my latest work, asked if I would be interested in showing my work at an upcoming SFSA exhibition.
The no format gallery space lends itself perfectly to my Haus Konstructiv installation, as it warrants a space that does not interrupt or intervene with the structure. It is also a space that gives me the ability to keep working on the project, developing and expanding on it to give it continued life and relevance. Not to mention, exhibiting my own work gives me an air of escape from my curating, teaching and writing responsibilities for a week!
Can you tell us more about your Haus Konstructiv exhibition and how the idea came to be?
The sculptures are modular which means they are made of many free-standing parts of steel, then Perspex and painted canvases can be added. This means the installation itself is entirely fluid, and created in the space and in response to it. This means I will not know exactly how it is going to look until I arrive in the space and begin putting it together and playing with the composition. Throughout the course of the exhibition I will keep changing the composition of the installation, so each day will have a new possibility, and what people see on each day will be different. I will also be sharing this on social media, so those who cannot visit the show can see how the work evolves through the exhibition time.
How long has it taken to put together the architecture installations for the exhibition?
I've actually been working on this series of work since 2015, when I first exhibited my large scale steel sculptures. Since then the work has been ever changing and developing. It evolves every time I exhibit it and look at it again in new formations. I can't foresee a particular date or time that this installation will be 'finished' - I designed this piece with the hope that it would come to exist as a conversation – something that people can respond to and interpret in their own ways, and something that I can continue to develop and expand upon based on peoples’ reactions to it.
What is it about the no format gallery space that lends itself to this particular exhibition?
A combination of factors, really – the first being the people. I really like the team, their work and their ethos. Their mission to have empathy for and provide support to aspiring artists is something that really resonates with me and means something to me personally. I'm always thrilled to work alongside likeminded people who care and feel passionately about the same things that I do.
Similarly, the no format gallery is an intimate space which lends itself perfectly to the installation. It allows people to truly immerse themselves in my work, to step in to it and view it from the many different vantage points of it, truly activating the piece. The clean, unspoilt surroundings of the no format gallery lend themselves perfectly to the vision I have for this piece, and allow it to become a social piece of art, something I have always wanted my work to be.
What is your favourite thing about being an artist in London?
One of the very best things about being an artist in London is the wonderful artistic community that exists and continues to thrive in the capital. I am lucky to have a really supportive network of artists who are my friends and peers, all of whom come along to support one another's exhibitions and shows. There are so many diverse and exciting new art communities popping up all over the capital today, all of which offer something for absolutely everyone (without mentioning how easy it now is to access amazing free art in the capital!). So it goes without saying that life as an artist in London is never boring – and that is one of the reasons why I love it so much.
What would your advice be for any creators starting off their career in the capital?
Network. Networking is so important – it allows an aspiring artist to find out more about the many different art scenes and which of these are going to give you the best exposure and opportunities – without mentioning the many amazing people you can meet in the process. I would also urge all aspiring artists in the capital to utilise social media and be digitally connected as much as possible – these days, social media is becoming the best way to connect with and attract an audience, as well as sparking conversations with potential peers and collaborators who you may not have otherwise been able to meet.
Haus Konstructiv opening night: Tuesday 12 Sept 6 - 8.30pm
Saturday 16 September: Free Artists talk 6-7pm with Rosalind and invited curator Laurent Delaye, followed with a buffet and drinks to 8pm.
General Opening times: Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 September 1 - 6.30pm or by appointment.
If you're interested in a new home with artists and exhibitions such as this literally on the doorstep, look no further than our Deptford Foundry homes.