Rosetta Whitehead -Bio
Like the photographers that most inspire me; Man Ray and Jerry Uelsmann, I create surreal ethereal images with light trickery. My images are single shots created using long exposure techniques.
Chance plays an integral role in my work, revealing new paths to explore. No matter what my intentions, the unexpected will always surface. Things I cannot predict. It is this that makes the creative process so exciting. I often use fabrics, and my array of torches, lasers, and fiber optics, which act as my paintbrushes. I have always been drawn to the female form, playing with the feminine archetype. My biggest inspiration being the pre-Raphaelite painters.
I hope to capture a world rich yet raw, romantic yet tragic. I am looking for images that are mystical, ethereal, fragile and momentary. But, most importantly, images that are serene. It is a sense of serenity that I am most concerned with realising in my work.
I grew up in a large free spirited family, the youngest of nine siblings, seven being sisters, who often feature in my work. I started studying photography at the age of sixteen, and went on to do a degree in photography at Leeds College of Art and Design. I discovered my technique by chance in my second year of university. I was shooting at night and had the revelation I could use a torch to illuminate my shot because my camera was on a tripod. My sister, who was modelling for me on that frosty February night, ran through the torchlight. I thought the image was ruined. When I saw the image on the back of the camera….. a transcendent, surreal, and seemingly limitless world burst into my minds eye. A world of glowing, translucent, or fragmented beings. Capturing our transience and this strange world of darkness and light that we inhabit. So that was it. I had found my artist voice.
“I was beginning to feel that everything had been done in photography and that it was no longer possible to come up with anything original. Rosetta Whitehead’s beautifully crafted and imaginative work just goes to show what a fresh eye can bring to an old medium. Rosetta may draw inspiration from the past but she is very much a woman of her own time, creating images that are both contemporary yet timeless, erotic yet innocent, manipulating light in celebration of the female form.” Jonathan Ross, hologram archivist, and owner of ‘Gallery 286’.
Solo exhibition ‘Rosetta Whitehead - Light Paintings’ Gallery 286 Earls Court Road 3-30th march 2016
‘Good Figures’ The Jerwood Gridshell Space, Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, West Sussex 25 April – 3 May 2015
‘Good Figures’ The Mall galleries and thread needles space London 9-14th February 2015
The Other Art Fair, Truman Brewery 16-19 October 2014
Paris Lumière exposition internationale de light painting, Espace Pierre Cardin December 13-15 2013
Ephemeral Brazil festival, 19-20th October, Aklam village market 2013
‘Luminous nocturnal’ 10th-31st May 2013 Poimena Gallery, Tasmania, Australia. http://www.luminousnocturnal.com/ featuring the works of 20 international light painters.
‘Positive in my mind’ February 20th-16th March 2013 G8 Gallery Moscow.
‘Techfest’ January 3rd-5th 2013 Asia’s largest science and technology festival, ITT Bombay Mumbai India
‘Digifest’ 7th-10th November 2012, Digital arts festival, Shepton Mallet.
‘Circle of light’ festival at the Central House of Artists Gallery, Moscow, September 28th-1st of October, 2012.
‘Robin Whitehead - a collage’ Gallery 286 Earls Court Road, London, October 6th-31st. http://www.gallery286.com/whitehead/index.html I curated this exhibition featuring my late sisters work and my photographs of her.
Solo exhibition ‘Awakenings’ at Sh Womens Exotic Emporium, June 1st - 30th 2010, Hoxton, London.
‘Christmas show’ Gallery 286 December the 1st-31st, Earls Court Road, London 2009.