Artist Becky Rose will make poignant connections with her late father in her new exhibition for the Festival of Chichester.
Becky’s exhibition will draw on the Welsh landscape which she learnt to love with her family. It will be staged in the garden studio she built with her dad Tim.
Running from Friday, June 19-Monday, June 22 from 11am-6pm, the show goes under the name Oil Paintings and Drawings of the Land and Sky, a chance for Becky to invite art-lovers into her studio at 55 Graydon Avenue, Donnington, PO19 8RG.
Born in Essex, Becky came to Chichester when her dad became a design technology teacher in the city: “Luckily he was the cool teacher at the school, so it was alright!”
She stayed on at the Chichester High School sixth-form, did a foundation course in Brighton and then took a fine art degree at University College, Falmouth.
“I loved the course. I loved the freedom. We could do what we really wanted to do without being constantly pressurised into ticking all the boxes. They just wanted you to develop your own art practice – plus I was just five minutes from the beach.”
The natural world entered her art and dominates it still through her love of Wales: “My art at the moment is looking at landscape and memory and how you feel in a particular place, for me the mountainous landscapes of Wales. It’s about the emotional attachment. I am in Wales about four times a year. As soon as I am there, nothing else matters really apart from looking at these huge mountains and realising that you are quite insignificant really in the grand scheme of things!
“My parents virtually brought me up there. It’s always been like a second home for me. We have got a caravan up there, and I stay on the same campsite I have been going to for 21 years now. My father passed away in 2012, and I think going there a lot has helped me remember all the good times we had. It’s a way of connecting. It’s about focusing on that landscape.
“My project for the Festival of Chichester is about Wales. Previous subjects have included rubbish on the canal, and I have done things about rusty objects. But really I want the emotional attachment, and that’s what I get with Wales. It’s quite an important thing to be able to paint more emotionally and more dramatically. I haven’t exhausted Wales, and if I ever think I have, I don’t want to. I will always want to find more things to explore there.”
Becky worked in retail until February last year when she took the plunge to become an artist full time: “I was doing a part-time supervisor job, and I was just too exhausted to do my art. I have got epilepsy, and I have got to be extremely careful about not getting too tired.
“At the moment, it is hard (working as an artist), but my mum is being very supportive. I am having to stay at home, but the studio at the bottom of the garden was something I built with my dad which is another connection and why I don’t want to leave it.”
Becky works in oils. Watercolour goes against all her instincts: “In an instant it is dry. You can manipulate oils. You can work with oils. It is like you are in the landscape with them!”
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