Rose Arbuthnott  :    ”One morning in Mexico, I began the inordinately simple task of drawing faces ….”

Rose was one of the artists in residency in Part One of the First Foods Project.  She has created a beautiful body of portraits in charcoal on paper and oil on board.  Her simple line drawings are powerfully emotive catching the pathos in a look, a kiss, a gesture between two lovers. 

The artists invites us to share her insights whilst exploring our own.  Arbuthnott’s drawings convey a kaleidescope of emotion from curiosity - hesitant at times wistful, intimate - sometimes guarded, the joy and the angst of the heart and the passion - achieved in simple lines in charcoal on paper. 

The subjects for her oils on board, are young, direct, strong, each one distinct from another. Icons in their own right, the characters are defined by line and flat planes of colour which together create sculptural form.  

Perhaps Rose’s muses include Picasso and Matisse for their strength and simplicity.  However, her style is distinctly her own.

Rose studied Fine Art and History of Art at Edinburgh University, set up the Owl Barn artist residency in Gloucestershire and was artist in residence as part of the first foods project in Mexico 2014.

Rose Arbuthnott : “What I really want to talk about is the difficulty of making art in the ominous current situation of global climate change, and the consumer culture and capitalism that seems to be driving it. In this context I am making art to support my living. Almost all of us are doing something like this – consuming the world’s resources to keep our puny lives afloat, even if for me this is only wood and oil paint (I am anti-plastics and don’t use acrylic; although we need all the trees we can keep deeply anchored in the ground just where they are, wood is at least a renewable resource). And at least paintings are for life and not discardable objects. But aren’t I just fuelling the same system that sort of works for humans but doesn’t work for the planet? Since we live here and can only live here we need an alternative pronto. So what I am suggesting is that the money that I receive from the selling of my pictures will be used to support my research and activism, possible because as a painter I have the privilege of time….”