Artist Interview - Kate Rossini

Artist interview between Shannon Skye Robinson and Lois Emma Harkin (Curating Futures Project Coordinator), and Kate Rossini (Curating Futures Artist).

* Warning, mature content- nudity *

Date of Interview: 20th of December 2021

Participants: Shannon Skye Robinson (SSR) and Lois Emma Harkin (LEH) and Kate Rossini (KR)

SSR/LEH: What is your background?

KR: I practised law for over 25 years and art always had a prominent place in my life as a way todecompress and recalibrate. I love immersing myself in exhibitions, travelling and taking

opportunities to experience the art of other cultures.


SSR/LEH: How did you get into art/ creativity?

KR: Having more time on my hands I started dabbling a bit in adult education - painting and pottery before deciding to ‘go for it’. I was lucky enough to be accepted on CityLit’s Foundation Art and Design Diploma course which was the best thing I’ve ever done: the course was eye-opening and enriching in equal measure. I’m now attending more advanced creative courses, exhibiting and curating my own shows to promote emerging artists. I am developing a creative business practice based on a model working with like- minded people/clients to curate their own spaces within their home, office or public space and help to deliver their artistic vision: either by creating bespoke artwork, sourcing art from current practitioners, commissioning works from new, upcoming artists & makers and working with fabricators in developing new techniques. Recycling, up-cycling, reformulating & re-imagining are key concepts for me as are using sustainable materials and resources in the development of work. These together with reworking existing objects are cornerstones of my practice.

Artwork produced by Kate Rossini


SSR/LEH: What do you get out of producing work?

KR: I’m trying to find aspects of my identity that have been “lost’ or hidden throughout my

professional life - to shed that skin/persona and rediscover what it is to be me - I use creative

strategies to explore my conscious/unconscious mind, thoughts and feelings: centred around my own identity: the feminine viewpoint rather than the masculine (Dadaism and surrealism), using the colours of my youth (1980’s), collections as they relate to my childhood, mark making and the simplicity of line as an exploration of memory

Artwork produced by Kate Rossini


SSR/LEH: How do you want your work to be perceived by an audience?

KR: My aim is to create work that is self- referential, reflective of my identity in the context of my childhood memories and the feminine: contextual perspectives and methodologies include:

• Surrealism (exploration of the feminine rather than the political)

• Elements of chance & simple external rules to guide the work- accepting my instinctive responses as work emerges to help discover my own visual language

• Concrete & Process Art: exploring creative processes to precipitate personal insight and create work that represents abstract thoughts in a tangible form. My work has an open easy aesthetic - accessible for all viewers, a calming/entrancing ‘space’– with deep/hidden meaning around my own identity/life/memories.

Artwork produced by Kate Rossini


SSR/LEH: Who are your biggest inspirations?

KR: Surrealists: Wolfgang Paalen & Alice Rahon (somewhat neglected in the surrealist movement but their works are hugely inspirational); and also Toyen, Claude Cahun; Hans Bellmer & Unica Zurn for their uncanny/otherness; Concrete and Process art (the tangible abstract): Sophie Tauber-Arp and Bernard Cohen; Louise Bourgeois' work relating to accessing, the hidden Spirals/Insomnia Drawings/Personages/Structures of Existence) ; Lenore Tawney (works having a spiritual element); Toyin Ojih-Odutola, Gary Hulme & Park Seo Bo for their mark making and the significance of materials; External rules/chance: Dora Maurer (displacement), Keith Tyson

(scientific/philosophical); Artist as collector/writer/3D elements: Joseph Cornell, Edmund de Waal, Clare Twomey; Optics: Bridget O’Reilly – an aesthetic reflecting the 1980’s “anything goes”/punk DIY enthusiasm (Meike Bruesch, Patrick Nagel, Michael Craig-Martin) and most recently Pamela Rosenkranz, Noguchi and Shilpa Gupta.


SSR/LEH: What are the main concepts or themes you explore within your work?

KR: My is about exploring aspects of her own identity using surrealist techniques . Themes running through her work include: otherness, the feminine & totemic, underlying meaning/subversion,colour combinations/optical effects, working in repetition for its meditative and spiritual quality – all centred around her own story and childhood memories.

Some of the themes and concepts that run through my work include those of identity, (particularly the feminine), an underlying message/subversion, the use of colour combinations and optical effects, new materials, reimagining existing objects and the use of recyclable or sustainable materials. Travel has had a profound impact on my work - how colours are used differently in different cultures, how the figure is conveyed or attitudes towards identity (particularly the feminine), temple/devotional art, use of perspectives, the art of propaganda etc. I am also passionate about ancient history and mythology seeking out opportunities to visit archaeological sites, seeing antiquities of  ancient civilisations and those of the earliest prehistoric societies –  is not only humbling but gives inspiration for future projects.

I choose surrealist techniques & automatism as ways to explore my identity through the subconscious act of ‘doing’, to access the subconscious mind - looking inwards to mine what is hidden - exploring the juxtaposition between methodologies that impose rules & elements of chance in creating work and those freed from rational control - working in repetition for its meditative and spiritual quality, using music as a soundtrack & personal colour combinations and with the application of rules to alleviate my need to control the outcome/perfectionism. These methods have given me the widest possible range of creative ideas & processes to explore - a free reign to try anything (in tune with my ideas around a 1980’s DIY aesthetic).

Spontaneity, allowing work to emerge from the process of doing, responding and letting go gives me creative permission to be bolder and more experimental.

The significance and modesty of materials features in my work - most recently the use of domestic paint/building supplies -  as are the use of found objects, reimagining existing work and using recyclable/sustainable resources (such as aluminium).


SSR/LEH: What is the main thing you have learnt through your creative practice?

KR: To allow myself to fail, be curious, break the rules and accept that feeling lost is often the

beginning of the creative process – and importantly letting go of over planning, procrastination – to be more spontaneous/experimental and less positional in the outcome: embracing both the negative/positive as part of the journey.


SSR/LEH: Who is your work for? Yourself? A small community? A specific sector of society? Or is it for everyone?

KR: I’m hoping that my work will be for everyone.


SSR/LEH: What is the best piece of advice you could give to another artist, or someone just starting out in the creative sector?

KR: Be brave – put yourself out there and apply for your work to be shown as widely as possible – the knock as are just as informative/important as the acceptances and the experiences help inform how you as an artist may wish to behave/develop.


SSR/LEH: Why did you decide to join the Curating Futures community?

KR: Curating Futures has a valuable contribution to make to my creative journey and I am excited to share ideas and learn from other artists. Collaboration is an important part of any creative practice = something that all artists need to help the creative energy flowing- the set themes and long term aims are aligned with my own and I’m very grateful to have been invited to join.


You can find Kate Rossini via her Instagram