Sarah Rose works across sculpture, sound and installation to engage in processes of translation, abstraction, and transformation. She is interested in what is considered ephemeral but has lasting affective and material residues and impacts. Exhibitions could be understood as a kind of archiving of changes, playing out as a ‘decomposition’. In some instances, the viewable works can be considered memories of fleeting interactions and phenomena.
By foregrounding temporality, the production of knowledge is rendered interdependent, existing within longer timelines, relationships and in some instances, as life cycles. Rose’s research is guided by embodied feminist materialisms, environmental practices and disability studies. Precarity is a reality that influences the production of the work and generates critique of patriarchal neoliberal and late-capitalist social structures.
Sarah Rose is interested in 'Solastalgia', a new term based on nostalgia. It describes the kind of emotional grief that you experience when you perceive negative change in an environment. It is also described as a homesickness at home. She is interested in ways that this emotion might be processed outside of the usual institutional support.
During her residency Rose has been reprocessing free newspapers that she has subtracted from the transport system in London. She has taken these back to the studio where she is processing them into a synthetic wood veneer, similar to the process of making plywood. The processing of this material is cathartic and embodied, transforming a material into another potential structure.
‘In looking at many of the early wooden sculptures housed in museums in London, I noticed how many insects have once lived there. I am interested in how wood can often be a home to other things, but on the other hand that trees don’t really have a home.'
Rose says, 'The cost of plywood has risen exponentially over the pandemic since construction industries continued and many people wanted to renovate their homes. This put pressure on the logging industry, and ultimately led to a decrease in trees, and if we think about this more, that means less oxygen.'
While in London, Rose has also been considering other communication and information networks related to vegetal life: the telegraph which was originally insulated in an early plastic made from tree resin, and the body’s own biochemical messaging system—hormones—which can be altered by ingesting particular plant materials.
Sarah Rose lives and works in Glasgow. Her recent exhibitions include: The Normal, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh (2021); Sawsawan: Conversations in the Dirty Kitchen: 3rd Kamias Triennial, Philippines (2020); Byproduct, Hospitalfield, Arbroath (2019); sequins, with Lauren Gault, Glasgow International (2018); Lilt, Twang, Tremor, Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow; NOW, Scottish Museum of Modern Art; New Nightclub for Courtenay Place, with Sonya Lacey, Raphaela Rose and Susana Torre, Pōneke Wellington; Stem, with Lauren Gault, Baltic 39, Newcastle (all 2017); Difficult Mothers, SWG3 Gallery, Glasgow; and L*, Darling Foundry, Montreal (all 2016). Sarah was artist-in-residence at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, Hospitalfield and the Banff Centre. She is a Freelands Foundation Talbot Rice Resident at the University of Edinburgh (2019-2021).
Sarah Rose’s residency is co-organised by Jan Warburton Charitable Trust and Stephanie Post, with the support of Libby and David Richwhite and the NZ Friends of Gasworks, in collaboration with Elam School of Fine Arts, the University of Auckland. She is hosted in the Juan Yarur Torres residency studio.