August 26, 2015

From her humble beginnings as a finger painter to pursuing an education in the arts, Rosie Vohra has always been immersed in creating, drawing and painting. Lead by her imagination, her paintings are built in bold, rich colour and find the beauty in the mundane. We caught up with her to find out more…

UO: What’s your story so far? 

Well, according to my mum it was all the finger painting she did with me as a child. I have been drawing, making and playing with the idea of art from a young age, but it was probably during school that I realised it was something I wanted to pursue. After school I went on to study Fine Art at Leeds college of Art. I guess this is when you could say I became an ‘artist’ because although I had been making work already, this is when I found a way of expressing myself in a more refined and conscious way. University gave me the time to play every day. I then went on to study Drawing at the Royal Drawing school which opened my eyes to different ways of working.

UO: What is it about painting that appeals to you as a medium?

You can paint on objects, houses, fences, cutlery, people, fabric, pots, paper and wood. Combined with the history of painting and the weight of people that have explored it and brought a new vision of the world through colour relationships, it’s an exciting discipline to build on top of.

UO: What ideas are you most excited about spreading?

When I look at my drawings and collages I think the most obvious idea I notice is the possibility of my imagination taking over what I see around me. I’m really excited about acknowledging the reality of things in my work, but also adding my imagination into the mix. I think there is so much beauty to be seen in the everyday. There is beauty in the relationships of objects man-made, rubbish and nature combined. It’s liberating to be in a familiar place and still appreciate the beauty in mundane accidents or happenings. I’m excited by the prospect of making work that responds to ‘now’ but also how you are interpreting ‘now’. I like this quote, ‘He who sees the beauty in this world, is destined not to remain a slave’.

What is your creative process when starting a new project?

I tend to have a lot of ideas and things that I want to make all at once, and I then appropriate them to a project. As I find it difficult to tailor work to a certain theme, I find that I need to feel freer than that. By working like this I tend to set myself projects that fit within bigger projects. I carry a sketchbook with me everywhere I go but instead of sketching out ideas, the drawings become the work itself. I often find if I over plan my drawings, paintings or sculptures they tend to lose something. I usually have a rough idea of what I want to happen and then I let the link between my hand and mind take over. An impulse or a gut feeling is usually what I make my decisions on, whether its colour, composition or what materials to use.

UO: What are your favourite themes to explore?

My favourite theme may be the expansion of drawing, the idea that drawing is present and can be painting, collage, sculpture or anything. But perhaps only by drawing a lot do you begin to see that everything is made up of lines, shapes and spaces that could be drawn.

Which artists do you look up to?

Artists I look up to or am looking at are changing constantly. A few artists that make me want to work are Tal R, Emil Nolde, Sara Fanelli, Robert Motherwell and Rose Wylie. I am also looking at Sienese paintings and Indian Miniatures all the time for their use of colour and form and how they create rhythm and a language through pattern.

See more of Rosie’s work here