Born Portsmouth, Hampshire, 1952. Educated St Felix, Southwold, Suffolk (1962 - 69) and Chichester College, Sussex (1970 - 73) Lincoln College of Art and Design (1985 - 87). Rosemary Cook worked for many years as a conservator and restorer of the decorative arts, however, it was during her late teens that she discovered her love of sculpting.
" I was attending a pottery class with my mother, just to keep her company. My pots were dreadful, so to pass the time I started making quick, sketchy sculptures. It was like a window opening onto a new world. True love... I never looked back. "
Years later her experience with materials and techniques acquired as a restorer of sculpture at The Royal Academy led on to her present career and success as a professional sculptor. She now lives in Suffolk and works in the "idyllic setting" of her studio in an old, oak framed barn. She works quickly, using clay to produce an original model that is thoroughly distinctive in its strong, impressionistic lines.
" Dogs feature strongly in my work; I aim to capture the immediate spark of liveliness and individual character of the subject and immerse myself in this whilst I work. My figures take me in a different direction - they are not of specific people, but evocations of solitary and tranquil moods which lead into a sense of timelessness. "
Rosemary's latest venture goes back to her roots in restoration. She and her partner have been re-building and restoring the ruin of an old villa in Le Marche, Italy. Lately they have been searching for interesting furniture as they drive across Europe and also working on landscaping of the terraced walks. Rosemary plans a series of sculptures to stand in favourite parts of the garden to capture the sense of freedom and beauty of the place.
" The house is now available to rent as a holiday let. A wonderful retreat to go for peace, quiet and tranquility - perfect for any one over-burdened by life at home. "
Rosemary Cook works from life in clay, using drawings and photographs as reference material. The resulting pieces are produced in limited editions, either in bronze, following the traditional lost wax method, or in bronze resin, using the cold casting process, where no molten metal is involved. No commissions of individual dogs are taken.
COLD CAST BRONZE / BRONZE RESIN
When the clay model has been completed a mould is taken using silicone rubber, supported by a rigid glass fibre jacket. Powdered bronze, bound with resin, is poured directly into the mould, producing a cast with a subtle but liveley surface, responsive to both patination and weathering. Since no 'chasing back' is required, every mark the sculptor has made in the modelling is retained. The result is an uninhibited and expressive piece, capturing all the immediacy of the wet clay.
LOST WAX / BRONZE
Each bronze is individually cast using the lost wax process. Bronze editions are classed as an original due to the individual way it is made. The lost wax process starts with the artist creating an original clay model of the sculpture. A rubber mould is taken from this mould and then several layers of hot wax are poured into the mould creating a hollow wax replica of the sculpture. This wax cast of the sculpture is covered and filled with a plaster mix. The wax is melted away with the remaining void filled with molten bronze. The cooled piece then undergoes a process of cleaning, fettling and chasing. Finally the metal is patinated using chemical solutions to create differing effects and given a protective layer of polished wax resulting in a hollow bronze replica of the original clay.
Garden Gallery (May 95-07). Southwold (July 95). Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court (96-07). Carl Sloshberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles (Feb 97 and 98). Polak Gallery, Piccadilly (May 97) and Frank T. Sabin, Albemarle Street (Nov 2000) both in conjunction with Stephen Jack. Arthur Andersen & Co (Sept 98). Ringstead Gallery, Norfolk (Sept 99). Frank T. Sabin, Albemarle Street (Nov 2000). Turkey Shed Gallery, Suffolk (Dec 01). Haley & Steele, Boston Mass (03-07). Palm Beach (June 05). Southwold Gallery (Nov 07). Langham Fine Art 'Art et Jardin' (Annually 99-08). The Irish Setter Club Show at The Kennell Club (07 & 08). Quidley & Company, Boston Mass (2008). Southwold Gallery (Nov 08). Dog World, Olympia (Nov 08). The Kennel Club Christmas Show (Dec 08 - Jan 09). Cookham Festival Sculpture Garden (Apr - May 09). SWA Mall Galleries (Apr - May 09). SWA Peter Hedley Gallery (Sep - Oct 09). Southwold Gallery (Nov 09). The Kennel Club Christmas Show (Dec 08 -Jan 09). Cookham Festival Sculpture Garden (Apr 09 - May 09). The Society of Women Artists Exhibtion, Mall Galleries (Apr 09 - May 09). Exhibition for selected members of Society of Women Artists, Peter Hedley Gallery, Dorset (Sep - Oct 09). 'Artspace 2010', Barn Galleries, Henley on Thames (May 10). Chelsea Flower Show (May 2010).
Rosemary's work is in private collections in Europe, The Antipodes and America. Public work includes 'Boy Reading' for The Early Learning Centre, 'Looking Out to Sea' and 'Down Stream' for The Nelson Hotel, Norwich. 'Every Dog' in the entrance to Battersea Dog's Home, 'Charlie and Ball' for the American animal charity, S.P.C.A, New York State. 'Ben and Bodger' for the Kennel Club.
SWA - Society of Women Artists