This week we catch up with BA Fine Art 2014 graduate Rosie Connolly as part of our ‘One Year On’ series.
It has been one year since you graduated – what have you been up to?
Since graduating, I was awarded a space as a resident artist in a ceramics studio in Farnham, 318 ceramics at the Farnham pottery, a beautiful historic building. I work with four fantastic artists and makers in such a great setting. It’s been perfect having a creative community around.
I’m starting an MA in September at the Royal College of Art doing Ceramics and Glass. I’m really excited! The strongest pieces in my portfolio for application were all made since leaving Chelsea, so it is true, life does continue after the degree show.
I’ve also set up a small business, designing and making porcelain jewellery. I sell it online and in a shop in Ealing,which funds my sculptural work and keeps me solvent! How has your practice developed since graduating?
I have made some big steps in my work over the past year. I’ve had the time and space to really focus and push my work forward, developing different techniques and concepts. I’ve had the time to try things out, the time to do it wrong and then make it better. I’ve made some of the work I’m most proud of since graduating.
Have you taken part in any projects/collaborations/exhibitions over the past year?
I’ve been quite busy making since graduation, but exhibiting a bit too. I took part in the Wells Art Contemporary exhibition which was a really good experience as one of the first shows I did after Chelsea. I’ve had some pieces in a showcase at Frontier Economics, a company I had a commission from whilst I was at Chelsea and with EIP, a law firm practicing in patent and trademark law, at the UAL Hub in Holborn.
We’ve had a few events at my studio too. The Farnham pottery is a Heritage site, we took part in Heritage Open Days, a programme of events across the country, where we opened our doors to the public and displayed our work. At the moment we’re doing Surrey Artists’ Open Studios, another big event where we open up the studio. This time, we’ve set up an exhibition in the atrium of the Pottery, placing work against the historical backdrop of the building.
How did you find the Summer Show experience last year?
The summer show experience was great, it was exhilarating along with being a bit stressful! The set up process was really interesting, I was sharing the space with two other people, so we all sat down together to decide where everything should go in order for the room to be as good as it could. We didn’t want there to be too clear a divide between all of the works, we wanted to use the commonalities to integrate them in the space.
My advice for current third years is to plan well and have a lot of open discussion with the people around you. Collaboration in the space is the best way to have a peaceful set up! I loved the exhibition as a whole, it was so exciting and the private view was the perfect party to shake off all the stress and start to really enjoy the experience.
Is there any advice you would like to give to our current or prospective BA Fine Art students?
Nothing comes to you for free, so work hard and go after everything! Take time to indulge yourself in your work, do something you’ve always wanted to. Follow up on every opportunity and contact. And have fun with the show!
Find out more about Chelsea’s BA Summer Show 2015
See more of Rosie’s work – www.rosieconnolly.net
Follow Rosie on Twitter – @roseanne_art
Watch a video of Rosie from the 2014 Summer Show speaking about her work.
Find out more about BA Fine Art at Chelsea on the course page