Growing up in a home with her father as an antique dealer and her mother as an interior designer, Rose Electra Harris’s work is noticeably influenced by the interior and decorative, which comes quite naturally to her.
Rose soon realised that she was more interested by what filled the spaces rather than the space itself. She began to hone in on individual pieces of furniture. Rose used relief printing as a way of expressing the piece of furniture, and humanising it as though it had a mind of it’s own – exaggerating the feet of an 18th century armchair to look like the paws of a tiger.
Rose then began to take a drawing of a piece of furniture and create the room around it, being spontaneous with the interior and adding motifs and decorative elements as the image came together. The intricate and delicate patterns that form Rose’s prints add layers of character and personality to each one. Rose often found after drawing something into a space that it resembled something from her home or from a childhood memory.
“Both my parents inspire me equally – my mother introduced me to India (she was working out there as a jewellery designer when I was ten years old and always brought back pieces of fabric and colourful patterns for the home) and my father still introduces me to mad and exciting furniture and pieces that are extraordinary and refreshing. His eye is amazing and he surprises me constantly with his modern and also humorous findings. My sister has followed my mother into the world of interior design so she too is an incredible source of all things slightly different.”
Rose’s favourite artist being Matisse, greatly influences her work with his use of colour, patterns, extent and simplicity of his work. Also gaining inspiration from archived ‘World of Interior’ magazines that Rose’s parents have collected over the years.
“Out of all the types of print, my favourite has always been intaglio/etching. At Brighton University there was an insanely beautiful 17th Century press and I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time printing solo as many others on my course were interested in the digital element of print and screen-printing. In etching there is so much room for mistakes and it can be very unforgiving, but sometimes these mistakes can surprise you and add something totally unique to an image that could have been quite boring without it. That feeling of unveiling the print beneath the blanket of the press, mountains of tissue paper and what else, still continues to be exhilarating.”
Rose uses chine-collé in her etchings, which leaves even more room for error, but the slight change in alignment adds a sense of movement and an organic feel to her prints. Rose’s drawings are never technical or proportional – they are surreal and ambiguous – sometimes even dysfunctional, a very refreshing way to visually explore the domestic space.
Currently in talks to collaborate with a clothes designer to push her work even further and expand her prints onto textiles, Rose also plans to experiment with printing directly onto fabric for curtains and other home ware textiles.