Godeleine de Rosamel’s first solo exhibition at ROSEGALLERY, LIFE:STILL, highlights the complex role of her forested scenic designs. Bringing her backdrops into the foreground, the exhibition considers the paradoxical symbolism of trees as both a source of life and forests as a space shrouded in danger and secrecy. A special installation in the neighboring gallery positions de Rosamel’s trees in conversation with tree-themed artworks by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, John Chiara, Bruce Davidson, Elger Esser, Masahisa Fukase, Dorothea Lange, Barry Salzman, and Graciela Iturbide.
Godeleine de Rosamel is a French artist based in Los Angeles, California. Born in Lille, France, in 1968, de Rosamel’s passion for art began early when she was just a child drawing animals and taking her first ceramics class at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. In 1986, she attended the Ecole de Recherche Graphique (ERG) in Brussels, Belgium, where she graduated with a fine arts degree and began a career as a children’s book illustrator. Her whimsical illustrations have been featured in a number of books in France and Belgium. In 2001, she moved to Los Angeles and continued her illustration practice for several years until she decided to create ceramic sculptures.
In 2014, she exhibited her work for the first time in a group show at Giant Robot in Los Angeles. For the past 12 years, de Rosamel has worked exclusively in ceramics. She embraces the innocence of her childhood drawings, bringing her creatures into the third dimension. De Rosamel plays into her role of “Creator” by sculpting new species to populate her humanless utopia. In her world, politics, gender, and suffering do not exist. Instead, her winsome, well-fed creatures adventure freely through forests and sleep under trees. She maintains a softness and levity in her work while also calling attention to the devastating impacts of human activities on biodiversity in the animal and vegetal kingdom. In an interview with VoyageLA, de Rosamel shared, “I often find myself reflecting on the ongoing loss of real species we are living through, wishing I could bring my creatures to life and repopulate the planet.”
De Rosamel's interest in natural history is evident not only in her subject matter, but also in her process. She combines modern techniques with prehistoric materials like clay, pigment, and sticks to create new life. With every sculpture she makes, her practice and her magical habitat inspires us to dream about a kinder world.