Interview: Stacie Rose [Molly Rose Freeman]
Molly Rose Freeman (MRF): One of the things that struck me the first time I saw your work was this balance between loose, gestural mark-making and very structured, almost architectural forms. Will you tell me about your relationship to the concepts of both surrender and will? This can be in your artistic practice as well as more broadly in your life.
Stacie Rose (SR): I love that you used the phrase “surrender and will”, which is a great summary for not only my art practice, but my entire life. For me, it’s the balance between letting things happen and making them happen. When I first started painting the difficult part for me was knowing when to do which. Like many artists starting out, I was solidly in the “will” camp and I forced the work to happen. It turns out that was an effective way to get those not so successful arts out of my system. Very useful! I eventually took a step back and allowed the work to guide my hand. Life is all about balancing opposing forces. It’s definitely a big picture way of looking at my work. I didn't set out to create with this large concept in mind (It’s about the UNIVERSE!) These abstractions can house many ideals. Logic v. emotion, physical v. ethereal, establishment v. rebellion, or simply structure v. gesture. It all depends on who is doing the looking. I think the chicken is will and the egg is surrender and I don’t know which came first but I don’t think one can exist without the other.
MRF: I understand you are in the process of getting your yoga certification. I'm curious if there is anything within your creative practice that has changed during this process: if anything has expanded or shrunk or taken on new life, including your relationship to your own body or the expression of movement?
SR: Yoga...talk about will and surrender! I have completed one half of a 200 hour certification and I plan to continue with it next year. I would say that my creative practice has deepened as I have continued studying yoga, and it has truly upended my world in a profound and sometimes uncomfortable way. I have more reverence for who I am in body and mind, and (with the exception of driving in traffic) that extends outward and affects the way I interact with the world. I am better at discerning the difference between challenge and force. Challenge is work and it brings about change. Force snuffs out creativity and vision and, in a physical context, can cause pain or injury. Art and yoga parallel one another in that consistent work and practice can lead to more of those moments, hours, or days when you feel connected with your purpose. Conversely, yoga and art can both shed light on the discomfort of your own existence. But don’t let that discourage you...it makes you fearless.
MRF: Will you talk a little bit about the role meditation plays in your life and work, if anything?
SR: My meditation practice fluctuates from day to day. I need to be more disciplined about it because it enhances clarity and helps me become less attached to the clutter of life. It’s ironic isn’t it? I need the will to sit down and surrender to my breath. I am such a work in progress.
MRF: What do you listen to when you work?
SR: It depends. If I’m building or prepping surfaces, I’ll listen to something goofy that I can sing to, like synth pop, classic R&B, or my old punk rock and riot grrl standbys. My playlist for making art spans genres and decades...but I try to stay away from music that will draw me too far out of the practice. For example, I love Tom Waits, but too much may result in less working and more bourbon drinking.
MRF: What feels important to you right now?
SR: It feels important right now for empathy and logic to find their way back into the hearts and minds of our society. Human lives are relegated to nothing but sound bites and imagery. All lives should matter, but the world does not reflect that reality. Anyone who believes otherwise isn’t paying attention.
MRF: What are you curious about?
SR: I’m curious about tiny microscopic nano-machines that can fix humans from the inside. Whether or not my cat, with his unblinking stare, is trying to control my mind. Why anyone would eat Marmite. Everything else.
Stacie Rose was born in Akron, Ohio and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where she studied art direction and painting. She has shown her work around the U.S. and is included in multiple corporate collections. Recent regional exhibitions include The Rymer Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as The Kibbee Gallery and Swan Coach House Gallery here in Atlanta, Georgia. She is an active member of The Atlanta Printmakers Studio and a fellow of The Hambidge Center for Arts and Science.
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