Rosie Deacon is a Sydney-based emerging artist who has been exhibiting regularly since 2007. This year, Deacon has been invited by the board of Runway Australian Experimental Art journal to create the organisation’s first Annual Edition. While Runway regularly commissions new artworks and writing for it’s online journal, this is the first time the artist-run organisation has embarked on a large commission of new work as part of its ongoing mission to support Australian experimental, emerging and under-represented artists, writers and curators.
This specially commissioned new work sees Deacon make her first foray into lithographic print-making, providing an introduction to the artist’s work for those new to her practice. It is also an opportunity for savvy collectors of Australian emerging contemporary art to purchase an early work by this up-and-coming talent, while assisting Runway to continue commissioning further works in the future.
Rosie Deacon’s practice engages with the spectacle of obsession, and realms of the absurd. Her work, joyfully employing everyday materials from synthetic eyelashes to expanding foam, jewels, glitter, stickers, sequins and clay, is combined to create large-scale fictional environments. These environments are populated by strange figurative sculptures crafted from a diverse and unabashed assortment of natural and manufactured material.
The artist describes these settings as “little worlds or communities that speak about the human condition.” She sees the collections of figurative sculptures, such as that depicted in her commissioned work Inside The Dark Rat Hole, Little Men Wait (2014), as “striving for something else, wanting more.” Deacon uses scale, both in terms of the size of single figures and her groupings of them, to investigate notions of anonymity and individuality. She says, “We like to assume we know what we are looking at, but I like to think each figure has a little persona, it’s own story. It speaks of the way they (or we) co-exist and ultimately navigate their (our) own little worlds and how to contemplate what’s outside our own circles and boundaries.”
The duplication and accrual in Deacon’s work also speaks to the artist’s approach to materiality in her practice. “As a maker, repetition and accumulation is cathartic in that it gives me time to process and understand my own interests and existence. As the figures accumulate, I see this process as leading the way into how I create a final set up or installation.” Of her forthcoming Runway edition and exhibition, Deacon states: “I’m excited to see how my work – which is so often about sculptural worlds – will translate into a print-based 2D work, through pattern, colour and decorative motif.”
Deacon obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture/Performance/Installation with First Class Honours from UNSW Art & Design (then COFA) in 2009, and in 2007 undertook the Porosity Sculpture/Design Studio Octopus with Professor Richard Goodwin at the Politecnico Di Milano University, Italy.
Deacon has held solo exhibitions including The Return of Captain Kitty’s Chicken Boat at Nana Contemporary, Newcastle (2014) and National Animal at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney (2011). Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including Overseasoned at Gage Gallery, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK (2014); Four Play at Sheffer Gallery, Sydney (2014); Nothing New at 101-111 William St Windows, Sydney (2014); A Cabinet of Curiosities at NG Art Gallery, Chippendale (2012); GBK Awardees: Where are they now? At Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Sydney (2011); Being Born Again at Cell Block Theatre, National Art School, Sydney (2010); and Catapult Emerging Artist Award, Kudos Gallery, Sydney (2008).
Deacon was awarded the Dinosaur Designs Honours Graduate Award (2009), the Gallery Barry Keldoulis Honours Studio Grant (2009), was Highly Commended in the Dinosaur Designs Graduate Award (2007). Her work is held in private collections throughout Australia.
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