Whether you see a floral, almost Hawaiian fabric, a neon lizard-looking skin, or a jellyfish in green, fluorescent water, Rose Pilkington’s abstract pieces leave everything to your imagination.
Her work is full of color, curious shapes and beautiful textures. Although she makes them digitally, they always seem to hint towards something real, although it can be hard to put your finger on exactly what they remind you of.
“I have a source of textural imagery and nearly all of it comes from nature,” Rose says. “At the moment it’s abundantly tropical frogs, moth wings and coral. I am also completely obsessed with microscopy – infinite worlds and unimaginable color combinations.”
These “unimaginable color combinations” form the thread through her wide-ranging collection of work. And that’s why working digitally appeals to her – “I can utilise every color of the spectrum – it’s all at my fingertips. I am interested in the effect it has on other people; how they can be drawn to it. I love the idea of pure abstraction and color broken down to its purest form, free of figurative representation.”
Her style has attracted several big brands, magazines and musicians – she has worked with MTV, H&M, Ladybeard magazine and, in maybe her best-known work so far, Jamie xx on his 2014 album In Colour.
“I get given a lot of very open briefs, which can sometimes be the best thing and sometimes be very challenging. This brief for Jamie xx was completely open to my interpretation,” Rose says. “I was given an album of 11 tracks, along with just one associated color per song. I then made full animations for each track using purely abstracted shapes and several colors.
Rather than any painstaking planning process, she jumped straight into the task, “using the melody and pace of the songs as the driving forces.” Clearly this way of working suits her, as a creative tour-de-force able to marry technical brilliance with that magic ability to trust and follow her instincts.