Themes of candy-coloured escapism run through Rose Skinner‘s installation curiosities. She was happy to lay bare her method-behind-the-madness to Wonderland and reveals her ultimate ambition – to build a labyrinth.

How did you first get into making installations?

I never intended to be an artist. I wanted to get out of the graphic design industry and I didn’t know what to do with my life, so I decided on going back to art school. Whilst there, I started making “stuff” with no particular goal or direction in mind – turns out people liked my creations and it kind of grew from there.

Is there an ongoing theme in your work or is each installation based on separate ideas?

Escapist themes subconsciously find their way into the very essence of my work. It’s this innate desire to escape the banalities of reality and sink within the self-constructed confines of a fantastical non-reality. A place created from everyday things in a way that defies the typical perception of who, what, where, when, why. It’s nonsensical.

Where do you typically find the objects you use?

The majority of the materials used in my installations are recycled or reclaimed. It goes with the anti-consumption ethos I run with which highlight modern trends of mass production and throw away ideologies, so I source a lot of objects from verge-side collections, charity shops and car boot sales.

How do you make them look so edible?

The installations are constructed from everyday stuffs including edible materials such as sugar and sweets. So I guess the artwork is actually edible.

If you could be any cartoon character for a day, who would you be?

Of all your questions, this one I took the most seriously. I pondered over it for almost an hour. I mentally explored a day in the life of every cartoon I could imagine. Disney, Pixar, Studio Ghibli characters morphed with Looney Tunes and all things Cartoon Network. Gumby? Ren or Stimpy? Yogi Bear? Jack Skellington? The really fast guy from Horton Hears A Who? Or would it be: Road Runner? Pepe Le Pew? Ariel? Mogli? Mr Potato Head? Homer Simpson? Totoro? Astro Boy? Inspector Gadget? The ginger bread man from Shrek with the gumdrop buttons? Or would it be a Care Bear living on clouds shooting magic from its belly? The choices seemed endless and my brain spaces begun to hurt a little from over-stimulation. At this point of prolonged distraction the answer leapt to the forefront of my prefrontal cortex. It was obvious. I couldn’t believe it took me so long to come to this conclusion. Of course if I could be any cartoon character for a day it would be Alice. Alice tripping her way through Wonderland!

What are your upcoming plans?

Monday: Rethread shoelaces.
Tuesday: Check email. Repeat no less than 13 times.
Wednesday: Begin benign stalking.
Thursday: Google how to survive London on less than 13 pounds a day.
Friday: Reconsider Kant’s colour theory in a modern context.
Saturday: Drink. A lot. Of water.
Sunday: Sleep.

No seriously, there’s a new gallery opening up in Shoreditch – we’re going to be exhibiting some new work around September.

If you had an unlimited budget, what would you create and where would it be?

It’s my life ambition to build a labyrinth. If the basic laws of reality didn’t apply I’d build it on a floating island. But in actuality I’d settle for any patch of land near the equator surrounded by a body of water and man-eating aquatic life.

Words: Sufiyeh Hadian


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