Art has always been something Michael Rose has been drawn to, but he has recently found his niche in embroidery and pen illustration. “I enjoy the intricacies of these mediums, and the control that I am able to achieve with them. Control over my medium is particularly important to me as I have a hereditary hand tremor which has worsened with age. The pointillist style in which I draw allows me to achieve a great level of detail without the seismograph stylings I would get with continuous pen to paper. I like to work in ballpoint because I enjoy the challenge of taking an ordinary medium to the next level.” Michael uses creativity as a form of self-expression and relaxation. He says, “I like to create visual pieces because I enjoy overcoming challenges thrown at me by subject, medium and body. I find creating and curating really fun, and a great way to relax and step away from reality for a while.”
In the past, Michael has been working to create collaborative work among other local creatives. “Up until now, I’ve mostly been hoarding my works. In the last few years I’ve done a couple of clothing collaborations. I produced embroidered garments and a show with Jack Hill and then worked as part of LKMR with my friend Lucinda King to produce a show with Monica Wilson from Beats Clothing.” The inspiration behind Michael’s art comes from a variety of sources, generally from the imagery he was surrounded with growing up. “there is a sea theme throughout a lot of my work; I grew up on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef and I’m enamoured by the ocean. Another big influence for me is Australian cult classic Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Big hair, big personalities, Versace, house music. I think that the influences of my childhood have only recently come to light in my work, as I’ve really stopped trying to minimize myself so that narrow-minded people will be comfortable with me or what I produce.”
Michael is hosting his first solo exhibition, Life in Biro, at Kiki Beware this week.
He has been working on the exhibition for some time now, with each piece taking between twenty to forty hours to complete. The show contains a range of original and limited edition prints that have each been executed using realist pointillism with a Bic biro pen. “This exhibition is a challenge that I set for myself for this year, as I often begin works and leave them for months or years at a time. The images centre around friends, people who inspire and influence me, a connection to nature and some really big hair. What more could you want, right?”
Aside from his art, Michael is working hard to becoming a fully qualified barber. “I’ve been cutting hair on the side for a few years now. My goal is to combine this training with my Anthropology and Gender Studies knowledge to open a LGBTQ and female friendly barbershop, which will allow me to pursue a career where I can be creative. I will continue making art however I can for as long as my body allows me to. Work is just the money maker, art is the real fun.”
Life in Biro is open from the 3rd of May until the 3rd of June at Kiki Beware – 344 George Street.