I call myself a textile artist. Why? Am I not just an artist? I call myself a textile artist because I feel it sums up what I do. I use a sewing machine, I use fabric, I sew, I stitch and I screenprint. I do all these things on paper as well as fabric, but there is always a textile element in there somewhere. Also there are other artists called Rosie James so I don’t want people to confuse me with them!
It is interesting why artists work with particular materials. I once made a series of works based on famous minimal artworks (more on that later) and I became interested in the work of Carl Andre.(picture shows Equivalent 8 by Carl Andre) I read an interview with him in which he said that when he was a kid he would walk past a brick factory everyday on his way to and from school. This fascinated him, the way the arrangements of the piles of bricks would change everytime he went past, the colours and patterns in the different types of bricks. This stayed with him and drew him to use bricks in his work when he became an artist.
I thought about this and wondered what my ‘brick factory’ was? What did I walk past on my way to school?- not much, lots of houses. However one of my strongest childhood memories is of the curtains my mum made on her treadle sewing machine. This was in the late 60’s early 70’s, I can still see the pattern in my head. They were large stylised flowers( a bit like marimekko or ikea) in shades of green, brown and orange. So there we are, that’s why I work mostly in textiles! My brick factory is a 1970’s curtain!