My current body of work has developed out of different research trips to Greenland and Switzerland, leading me to explore snow and icescapes in all their different facets, from avalanches in the Alps to the ablation zone of melting glaciers.
Ice is a simple but strange substance. Delicate and fragile it melts with the warmth of the sun, but also so powerful it can carve out entire landscapes. These landscapes have endured millions of years, but at the same time there is a temporality, an ever-shifting surface that groans under the stresses and pressures of its own environment. The exhibition showcases 20 of the latest works.
23rd November 2018 – 6th January 2019
Opening hours: Monday–Tuesday 10am–6pm.
No 20 Arts
20 Cross Street, London N1 2BG.
Rosie Snell was born in Sussex in 1971. She completed her Masters in 1995 at the Norwich School of Art with the help of an award from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. In 1997 she moved to London to take up a residency with the Florence Trust Studios. She quickly established her work with The Paton Gallery, having her first solo show that year. Her work was published in Saatchi’s New Neurotic Realists the following year. In 1999 she was awarded the Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship and her work was published in Young British Art: The Saatchi Decade. She has since exhibited in London, Milan, Norwich, Bristol and Berwick. Her work is featured in many collections and publications. She is a Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University.
The Art of Ice
My latest works have developed out of research trips to Switzerland and Greenland, leading me to explore snow and icescapes in all their different facets. From avalanches in the Alps to the ablation zones of melting glaciers.
Ice is a contradiction. This simple, chemical composition creates very different surfaces and landscapes. As it freezes it can produce complex snowflakes or simple icicles. It is so delicate and fragile it melts it with the warmth of the sun but also so powerful it can carve out entire landscapes.
These landscapes have endured for millions of years, but at the same time there is a temporality, an ever-shifting surface that groans under the stresses and pressures of its own environment.
As I have always had a great interest in the medium of paint, it seemed a natural move for me to try and explore these phenomena in terms of paint and how it can not only be used to represent nature but also how it can emulate it in terms of its behaviour. I use weak layers of paint between more stable ones to cause the paint to move under pressure, or a brittle paint over a flexible one to cause the surface to crack and fracture. I have also been working through these ideas with my drawings and watercolours, cutting and tearing the paper to replicate the pressures these landscapes undergo.
Through my works I aim to explore our often complex and contradictory relationship between humanity and the natural world and our increasingly urgent relationship with nature; the eulogizing and destruction, the aestheticizing and ultimately our longing for control.
‘Romanticism is nothing but the enhancement of potentiality’ – Novalis
The Art of Conflict
I have always had a fascination for the unexpected contrast between military structures and their surroundings. Technological developments in warfare, as well as past conflicts, have not only created purpose-built machines but have also had a direct effect on the landscape.
In these visions of post-nuclear pastoral, military objects have become monoliths, imbued with a quiet calm. Each machine static but at the same time predatory in its environment, the lack of human presence giving them an unnerving autonomy. Their camouflage appropriates the aesthetics of their surroundings, but can also be read as a language of anxiety and falsehoods. Two important attributes of camouflage are its emphasis on the domain of the visual and its strategic nature. Camouflage is a defensive strategy, a survival mechanism. The logic of camouflage is precisely to the lose the self in order to preserve the self.
Increasingly, new concepts and capabilities associated with our information age seem to offer a new type of warfare, a post-heroic warfare without bloodshed. But the fact of war is often a long way from our emotional or intellectual response to it. And however appealing modern theories of ‘Clean Warfare’(1) are, Clausewitz’s stark warning still seems disturbingly current; “The fact that slaughter is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.”(2)
My works are not those of a war artist, presenting a social documentation or conveying a particular political point of view, rather they endeavour to encompass both the past and the future, examining concealment, disinformation and the physical and psychological impact war has had and continues to exert upon our environment.
(1) Jean Baudrillard, ‘The Gulf War did not take place’.
(2) Carl von Clausewitz, ‘On War’.
1994–1995 Masters Degree – Norwich School of Art and Design
1991–1994 B.A.(Hons) Degree – Loughborough College of Art and Design
2001 Peterborough Art Prize, Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery
2000 The Woo Charitable Foundation Award
2002 The Elizabeth Greenshields Award
1997 NatWest Art Prize – Runner Up
1997 The Elizabeth Greenshields Award
1996 Royal Bath & West Art Scholarship
1994 The Elizabeth Greenshields Award
The Saatchi Collection / Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery / Old Mutual / The British Standards Institute / Goldman Sachs / Royal Bank of Scotland / Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery / Private Collections
The Mechanical Hand – Artists’ Projects at Paupers Press, Black Dog Publishing, 2012
The Berwick Gymnasium Fellowships, English Heritage & Art Editions North, 2008
Eastinternational 2006, Norwich Gallery, Forward Lynda Morris, 2006
Disruptive Patter Material, Hardy Blechman, Maharishi, 2004
Everyday is Like Sunday, Vertigo Gallery Publications, 2004
Realism, Flowers Gallery, Foreward Edward Lucie-Smith, 2003
Landscape, Saatchi Gallery Publications, 2002
Ground Clearance, Vertigo Gallery Publications, 2001
Young British Art: The Saatchi Decade, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1999
The New Neurotic Realists, Saatchi Gallery Publications, 1998
Residencies and fellowships
1998-1999 Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship, English Heritage, Berwick
1997-1998 The Florence Trust Studios, Highbury, London
Current Bath Spa University – Senior Lecturer in Fine Art
1998–2009 City & Guilds of London Art School – Lecturer in Fine Art
2006–2008 Norwich School of Art and Design – Visiting Lecturer in Fine Art
1998–1999 The Slade School of Fine Art – Lecturer in Fine Art
2018–2019 Outliers No.20 Arts, London
2018 Summer Exhibition No.20 Arts, London
2017 Twelve at Number Twenty, No.20 London
2017 Open Plan, Locksbrook Road, Bath
2016–17 Norwich Contemporary Arts Society, Sixty years on: Treasures from the Castle’s Collection, Norwich Castle Museum
2016 Derwent Art Prize, The Mall Galleries/Trowbridge Arts, Wiltshire
2015 Human Traces, Clare Hall, Cambridge/Stour Space Gallery, London
2014 Informal Elements, OVADA, Oxford
2013 Between Two Tides, Motorcade/Flashparade Gallery, Bristol
2012 The Mechanical Hand, Kings Place Gallery, London
2011 Mostyn Open, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno
2008 Command & Control, Standpoint Gallery, London
2008 Back to the Future, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery
2008 Kenyan/British Printmaking, Ra Museum of Modern Art, Nairobi
2006 East International, Norwich Art Gallery, Norwich
2006 Forest Dreaming, CCANW, Exeter
2006 Requiem, St Ansell’s Church, London
2004 Forever Beautiful, Clapham Art Gallery, London
2004 Everyday is like Sunday, Vertigo Gallery, London Catalogue
2003 Realism, Flowers East, London Catalogue
2003 Landscape, Vertigo Gallery, London
2002 Formula 1, Vertigo Gallery, Milan
2002 Landscape, Paton Gallery, London
2001 Peterborough Art Prize, Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery
2001 Ground Clearance, Vertigo Gallery, London Catalogue
2000 Landscapes from the Border, Paton Gallery, London Catalogue and Berwick Gymnasium Gallery
2000 Beyond the Scene, Paton Gallery, London
2000 10 years on, The King of Hearts Gallery, Norwich
1998 Nine Past/Nine Present, The Gallery in Cork Street, London
1997 The NatWest Art Prize, Lothbury Gallery, London Catalogue
1997 The Lie of the Land, Paton Gallery, London
1997 Rosie Snell, The King of Hearts Gallery, Norwich
1997 The Promised Land, The Bond Gallery, Birmingham