Rosie Reed

June 2019

“The Grandmothers" was the title of Reed’s installation at Robert Young Antiques, the fourth in a series of Contemporary Collaborations, showcasing works by emerging artists, exploring relationships between historic and modern works of art. 

‘Everyone is influenced by those things that precede formal education, that come out of the blue and out of everyday life. Those excluded influences I call the grandmothers.’? - Rebecca Solnit

Rosie Reed is an artist living and working in London. She completed her BA in Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, in 2013 and her Masters in Sculpture at The Royal College of Art in 2017. Recent exhibitions include Notes on Growth, a collaboration with Finbar Ward at Mo.Ca in Brescia, Italy, ArtWorks Open, selected by Tai Shani and Emma Talbot at Barbican Arts Group Trust, Flipside at Fold Gallery, a group exhibition that Reed curated and exhibited in, Woman Shall Inherit The Earth, Panacea Museum, Housekeeping an exhibition with Finbar Ward at Garden Gallery in Los Angeles, Adventures and Curiosities at Hauser and Wirth, Flat Pack at Camden Arts Centre and Herland at Bosse & Baum.

For this installation, Reed studied a selection of Folk Art toys from the Robert Young Antiques Collection, contemplating the many significant accounts that survive and unfold by virtue of artefacts, compared to the narratives that will forever remain undiscovered. Reed says : “An antique toy denies its present holder so much of its adventure. It conceals the importance it had to the hands that originally held it, the games that it played protagonist to and the imaginary worlds that it once discovered and explored.” “The Grandmothers” seek to explore the notion of opening up the attic boxes that store away these childhood notions of play and dreamed up worlds.

Reed’s work engages with the notion of surfaces disclosing histories, revealing tiers of time and movement. Exuberance, excess and the non-hierarchical use of colour and texture is prevalent in her practice. Fascinated by the obtrusive, gaudy yet irresistible nature of over saturation and the cyclical use of material, she grinds down and recycles elements of past work to use as aggregate that makes up details of future work. Exploring the exercise of discovery and the unlearning of behaviour and systems conditioned by patriarchy, leads her to consider fantastical, futuristic artefacts, abandoned spaces, buried pasts and new beginnings; environments and objects that allow the projection of alternative narratives. It is this exploration that hopes to elicit a sensory, inquisitive and bodily response from the viewer.