Rosa Moriatur

Tamsin Rosewell

Rosa Moriatur - For Sophie
(The Rose Dies)

I drew this image while I was painting Kubla Khan. Kubla Khan involved tumbling rivers of vividly coloured ink and occasionally it just got too much. I love colour with a passion but sometimes it is a little overwhelming to work on a huge painting with so much colour and detail. Rosa Moriatur is just pencil and liquid graphite. I started this around the anniversary of the death of Sophie Scholl (1943). She led the White Rose Movement of Nazi Germany that sought to oppose the regime armed only with words and a small printing press. She was arrested and executed at the age of 21 along with her brother Hans and their best friend, Christoph. Sophie Scholl was an extraordinary young woman and someone whose story has long been very important to me not least for its call to bear the arms of intellect and humanity, rather than to hold guns and aggression. The drawing became a sort of study in positive and negative space, and where drawing from life tipped over into drawing abstract form. It was also a study of the very particular beauty that dying roses have. In the classical world they had the concept of beauty in decay - flora mortis – something we have learned to recoil from. So I bought, over several months, about ten bunches of white roses and drew them in all stages of life: from buds, to full bloom and then death. I let many of the roses dry and then drew them again. I still have the dried roses.

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