Being an artist
Please give us a few words about yourself
My name is Catherine Rogers, I am a freelance artist based in Holloway. I graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in July 2012. I specialise in Fine Art, predominantly drawing and installation. Since my degree show I have been involved in, and organised several exhibitions and plan on applying for an MA in Fine Art Curating to pursue my dream of owning my own gallery.
When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
I have always known I would pursue art as a career; I was just unaware of the approach I would take. The 3 years I spent at university exposed me to curation and arts management, which ignited a passion for running my own gallery space in London.I have had to work non-artistic jobs in the past year alongside my practice in order to remain in London but it is with the intention of supporting my ambitions.
Every role I have taken has fitted in with the logistics of owning a gallery, for example any administrative roles I have taken have given me great training in budget management and event planning, which whilst not in the creative industry, are still relevant and adding to my skill set.I have remained confident in the knowledge that owning my own gallery and making my own work is my future, regardless of the difficulty in achieving this.
What training did you have?
My training at both Foundation and Degree level has been exceptional. I completed my Foundation Diploma at Leeds College of Art and Design. This was a Level 4 Foundation Diploma, which gave me invaluable teaching in a range of practices taught at degree level. My degree in Technical Arts and Special Effects at Wimbledon College of Art was an incredible awakening and I was encouraged to discover the artist I wanted to be.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
The high point of my career so far was at an exhibition I was involved in at Shoreditch Town Hall Basement in March 2013. I was showing a site-specific installation of bespoke wire birdcages. The reaction from one particular spectator was very moving and honest, ‘Your room made me feel safe, I was surrounded and I was happy’ (unknown spectator). My intention with my installation work is to evoke emotions and give people the opportunity to find meaning in the space.
What’s your favourite quote?
“There should be something revelatory about art. It should be totally creative and open doors for new thoughts and experiences.”
Who is your favourite artist?
What are you aiming for?
My aim is to own and run a successful gallery in London. I plan to also continue and develop my own practice.
How will you get there?
I will get there through hard work, understanding business and a passion for art.
Is anything holding you back?
No, I will achieve what I want to. If I don’t believe it fully, who else will?
You and Art
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
As I mentioned earlier, the purpose of most of my work is to evoke emotion in those who view it. This often creates reactions that are unexpected, for example, some of the feelings aroused by my work are not positive. People can become sad, angry, scared when confronted with memories or relatable stories. So it is not the work that can upset people but the feelings it evokes and what it forces them to confront.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
As I work in a variety of mediums and practices, ranging from installations to drawings, each piece can range from one hour to several months.
What music do you listen to when you work?
Making my work is very personal to me, so the music I listen to really depends on my emotions that day. I find that I get the most out of the day if I am listening to music that reflects my thought process.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in he pipeline that we should look out for?
I have recently rented some new studio space and plan to do some large-scale drawings. I am looking to experiment with different techniques of mark making. I am planning to produce the drawings for a solo show next year where I want the drawings to be hung from thick chains in the centre of a large space.
Being inspired by art
Who living or dead inspires you and why?
Sylvia Plath inspires me. Her poems have often been the starting point of my work and help me to connect my emotions to my practice. My parents inspire me, my mum is an artist and gave me my love of drawing, I have developed a unique style of drawing through her teaching and I am extremely grateful for this. Both my parents have an incredible work ethic, accomplished so much, as well as offering me constant support. I couldn’t have done anything without them.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
Memories inspire me; my work often encourages the audience to connect with old memories. It can make a piece of art be viewed in so many ways.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
My favourite work is ‘You Took Me Away’. It was my final degree piece, and my first large-scale installation. It was the first project where I felt completely free to explore my connection with art and art as experience.
An Artist’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?
If art is truly your passion, taking the leap can be so intimidating, yet, the easiest decision you’ll ever make. If you want it, do whatever it takes. I recently made this decision myself and I have never been happier.
You can check more of Catherine’s artwork at www.catherinerogers.co.uk