Block title

Work Samples

From There to Here - Digital Interactive Scroll by Rose Anderson (Demo)

"From There to Here" - Interactive internet work with written word, photography, digital artwork, HTML, CSS and PHP Functions - 2018. In this interactive work, I use one story from my escape from a religious cult as a way to open a conversation about White privilege and systemic racism in America. This is a short video demo of interactive content hosted here: https://artistroseanderson.com/from-there-to-here/

Annunciation

Annunciation - Rose Anderson
"Annunciation" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 36 x 26 Inches - 2019. In this composition I re-contextualize a 1996 photo of my forced marriage in a religious cult as a way to examine patriarchal constructs and Eurocentric religious archetypes.

John O'Donnell of Baltimore: A Historical Account

"John O'Donnell of Baltimore: A Historical Account". Interactive internet work with written word, photography, digital artwork, HTML, CSS and PHP Functions - 2020. This interactive artwork lets readers dig beneath the accepted White Founding Father narrative surrounding the statue of John O'Donnell in Baltimore, uncovering his history as an accused murderer and enslaver. This is a short video demo of interactive work hosted here: https://artistroseanderson.com/john-odonnell-of-baltimore-a-historical-account/

Making America White Again: The Racist Language of Classical Architecture

Making America White Again: The Racist Language of Classical Architecture

"...I would leave this cult and begin a naive exploration of what it really meant to live in America."

PDF icon Making America White Again: The Racist Language of Classical Architecture

Share:

About Rose

Baltimore County

Rose Anderson's picture
Rose Anderson is a multidisciplinary artist exploring constructs of race and patriarchy in Euro-American classicism. She deconstructs nationalist narratives by revisiting her childhood of indoctrination in a religious cult, and her naive exploration of American culture after her escape as a young adult.  Anderson's aesthetic draws on a childhood surrounded by Eurocentrism in sculpture, architecture, literature, and religious illustrations that romanticized suffering against a backdrop of... more

Storytelling: Interactive Digital Scrolls

On their surface, Scrolls are a series of short sentences or paragraphs I have written to tell a complete story on a computer or tablet screen. You can click and scroll with a mouse or interact with a touch screen to reveal more text, which can change the meaning of the story at the Scroll’s surface entirely.

When I emerged from the religious cult of my childhood and young adulthood, I had to sift, dig, search, and obsess to uncover the truth as if gradually unrolling an ancient scroll. The interactive Scrolls are a proxy for that first-hand experience as I connect the atrocities of America's past to present-day issues using vignettes of my isolation, Eurocentric indoctrination, and naive exploration of the outside world after my escape.

In this contemporary storytelling medium I use both my photography and my digital photo compositions to illustrate the pages, as well as other graphic art created expressly for the Scroll. Scrolls are both a deconstruction and an expansion of my printmaking work, contextualizing many of the same component images and concepts.

Each work sample is a short video showing how someone might interact with the Scroll, and each includes a link to the interactive artwork.

  • A Thing of Transcendent Beauty - Interactive Scroll by Rose Anderson (Demo)

    "A Thing of Transcendent Beauty" - Interactive internet work with written word, photography, digital artwork, HTML, CSS and PHP Functions - 2019. Interacting with the scroll explores where ultra-conservative constructs around women's roles in society originated, and where they ultimately lead.This is a short video demo of interactive artwork hosted here: https://artistroseanderson.com/a-thing-of-transcendent-beauty/
  • Woman on a Pedestal - Interactive Scroll by Rose Anderson (Demo)

    "Woman on a Pedestal" - Interactive internet work with written word, photography, digital artwork, HTML, CSS and PHP Functions - 2018. This scroll tells of a triumphant speech I gave when graduating from four years of indoctrination in Eurocentrism and conservative womanhood, and what was really happening behind the scenes. This is a video demo of work located here: https://artistroseanderson.com/woman-on-a-pedestal/
  • Autodidact - Interactive Scroll by Rose Anderson (Demo)

    "Autodidact" - Interactive internet work with written word, photography, digital artwork, HTML, CSS and PHP Functions - 2019. What at first appears to be a rags-to-riches tale of a self-made business woman becomes a darker story about deeply embedded ideas about race that influence the judgements we make. This is a short video demo of interactive content hosted here: https://artistroseanderson.com/autodidact/
  • Flightless - Interactive Digital Scroll by Rose Anderson (Demo)

    "Flightless" - Interactive internet work with written word, photography, digital artwork, HTML, CSS and PHP Functions - 2018. "Why didn't you just leave? It was your choice". This is a short video demo of interactive content hosted here: https://artistroseanderson.com/flightless/
  • From There to Here - Digital Interactive Scroll by Rose Anderson (Demo)

    "From There to Here" - Interactive internet work with written word, photography, digital artwork, HTML, CSS and PHP Functions - 2018. In this interactive work, I use one story from my escape from a religious cult as a way to open a conversation about White privilege and systemic racism in America. This is a short video demo of interactive content hosted here: https://artistroseanderson.com/from-there-to-here/

Printmaking: Deconstructing American Eurocentrism

In this contemporary printmaking series, I invert the significance of Classicism used as an expression of White superiority and socio-economic dominance, using it instead as a way to examine and de-center Whiteness in the American story. I photograph material culture that sustains a Eurocentric focus in American thought as well as objects and structures to represent the inevitable end of those narratives. I then assemble them into digital compositions using Adobe Photoshop. My final prints are pigment ink on watercolor rag.

My aesthetic draws on my childhood surrounded by Eurocentrism in sculpture, architecture, and religious illustration that romanticized suffering against a backdrop of nature and antiquity. I also built upon my early exposure to the religious art of the Renaissance, expanding to Thomas Cole's landscapes, d'Hondecoeter's birds, and Hubert Robert's use of ruins as social commentary.

  • The Sea Came for Orpheus

    Rose Anderson - The Sea Came for Orpheus
    "The Sea Came for Orpheus" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 32 x 18 inches - 2020. In my artistic exploration I have come to understand grand displays of Greek and Roman Classicism in America as expressions of America's deep-seated Eurocentrism, a celebration of systemic racism and white socio-economic dominance. This statue, erected in honor of Francis Scott Key, truly represents his status as an enslaver and apparent embrace of the system being constructed to forever ensure the supremacy of white men.
  • Memento Mori

    Memento Mori - Rose Anderson
    "Memento Mori" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 36 x 24 Inches - 2018. Richard the Ironmaster, enslaver at Montpelier in Laurel with ties to the Ridgely family of Baltimore County, is long dead. The symbols of his supremacy are mere ephemera he bought stolen human lives. The Latin title of this piece translates: "Remember that you will die".
  • In the End

    Rose Anderson - In the End
    "In the End" - Digital Photo Composition - Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 36 x 24 Inches - 2019. On the portico of Hampton Mansion stands a statue, a custom portrait in marble of the infant child of one of the wealthiest enslaver families in Maryland, the Ridgelys. The Latin inscription I have added translates: "I shall perish".
  • On This Site

    Rose Anderson - On This Site
    "On This Site" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 24 x 36 Inches - 2018. In the muddy foreground lies an iron corn-shucking tool that would have been used by an enslaved person.
  • If Only

    If Only - Rose Anderson
    "If Only" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 32 x 20 Inches - 2019. In the distance, the remains of Washington, DC.
  • In Captivity

    In Captivity - Rose Anderson
    "In Captivity" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 24 x 36 Inches - 2019. I often use Classical architecture and sculpture in my work as a way of investigating how Classicism is used to represent white male dominance in America.
  • The Ironmaster's Providence

    Rose Anderson: The Ironmaster's Providence
    "The Ironmaster's Providence" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 24 x 36 Inches - 2018. If you visit the immaculately restored Ridgely Mansion, you can sit on this charming antebellum iron bench and look out at the formal gardens. On a tour of the mansion, a guide will tell you how the children who lived here kept squirrels as pets. Close by but out of site, enslaved people endured hell on earth in the Ridgely's iron forges. The Latin inscription I have added translates: "Look back at the truth".
  • For This is Sacred Ground

    For This is Sacred Ground - Rose Anderson
    "For This is Sacred Ground" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 48 x 27 Inches - 2019. Freed black people built a community near the Gunpowder River where they had been formerly enslaved in the Ridgely's iron forges. In September 1887, black and white worshipers gathered for a Revival at the old site of the forges where the railroad bridge crosses the river today, and iron bolts from the industrial operation could still be seen protruding from the rocks. The Latin words on the bridge translate "Know Your Land".
  • Cult of the White Madonna

    Cult of the White Madonna - Rose Anderson
    "Cult of the White Madonna" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 36 x 27 Inches - 2019. A white marble statue of a mother and child, members of the slave-holding Ridgely family. The statue was created as a portrait and still stands on the portico of Hampton Mansion. The Ridgely statue has replaced a statue of the Virgin Mary in this photo of my mother, circa 1960. The Latin inscription I have added roughly translates: "Adore and emulate us."
  • The Accounting of Canton Plantation

    The Accounting of Canton Plantation - Rose Anderson
    "The Accounting of Canton Plantation" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 24 x 36 Inches - 2019. I recontextualized my photo of the statue of John O'Donnell of Baltimore, who owned around 70 enslaved people at the time of his death in 1805. As of this writing in January 2021, his statue still stands in the center of a public square that bears his name, on the Baltimore City street that bears his name, in the neighborhood of Canton, which is named for one of his plantations.

Process: Using My Photography to Create Prints and Illustrate My Interactive Scrolls

My exploration of the physical world through the camera lens is the foundation of all all my visual and interactive work. Once I capture an image, it may be contextualized in multiple different ways in my different mediums. This project shows how I used some of my photographs in my interactive scrolls and prints, and also include my compositions as illustrations in my scrolls.

I make my pigment prints almost entirely from my own photography, and one scene can be made up of dozens of photos. To make scenes in Photoshop, I assemble landscape photos to create backgrounds, combine different skies and seascapes, alter photos of local buildings into abandoned ruins, and position animal subjects as if they are interacting. It is like making plates or blocks for more traditional forms of printmaking, but it is a modern and entirely digital process that I call Contemporary Printmaking.

I have also occasionally used old family photos, and work from important public sources like NASA and Hubble Heritage Team with permission.

  • The Wreck of the Inevitable

    The Wreck of the Inevitable - Rose Anderson - 2017
    "The Wreck of the Inevitable" - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 24 x 36 inches - 2017. This scene is created from multiple different photos I took on the Chesapeake Bay and on wildlife photography trips to the shores of New Jersey.
  • Screenshot from Scroll 'A Thing of Transcendent Beauty' With Two Grackles in a Mating Dance

    Screenshot: Photo of two grackles in a mating dance, placed in my Scroll "A Thing of Transcendent Beauty".
    This is a screenshot of my Interactive Scroll "A Thing of Transcendent Beauty". It shows a photo of two grackles in a mating dance, which I also used in my print "The Wreck of the Inevitable" to represent oppressive ideas about marriage and gender roles.
  • Naked Trees and Marsh Grass on Maryland's Eastern Shore

    Naked Trees and Marsh Grass on Maryland's Eastern Shore
    I took this landscape photo on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I used it as part of the background in my print "The Wreck of the Inevitable".
  • USAS American Mariner

    USAS American Mariner on the Chesapeake Bay - Rose Anderson
    I took this photo of the USAS American Mariner on the Chesapeake Bay and used it in my print "The Wreck of the Inevitable". I use wrecks and ruins in my work to represent oppressive or unsustainable social and economic constructs.
  • Photo of Rose Anderson as a child.

    Photo of Rose Anderson as a child.
    This is a photo of me at five years old, taken by my aunt. I used this photo for my self portrait "Suddenly the Child Was Old".
  • Suddenly the Child Was Old: Self Portrait

    Suddenly the Child Was Old: Self Portrait
    "Suddenly the Child Was Old" (Self Portrait) - Digital Photo Composition, Pigment Print on Watercolor Rag - 26 x 36 inches - 2017. As a child in a cult I discovered that my own perception of linear time was a construct, and therefore something I could deconstruct in order to survive. A photo of my five-year-old self is surrounded by my own photos, elements of photo compositions I would create in the future as I expanded into new areas of artistic exploration and deconstruction. I also used photos from NASA and Hubble Heritage Team to create the background.
  • Screenshot from Scroll 'A Thing of Transcendant Beauty' Showing Photo Composition 'Annunciation'

    My photo composition "Annunciation" appears in my Scroll "A Thing of Transcendent Beauty".
    My photo composition "Annunciation (I am the Handmaid of the Lord)" appears in my Scroll "A Thing of Transcendent Beauty". The print and the scroll deal with my duty-bound, loveless marriage in the cult in Saint Marys, in which I was expected to bear "as many children as God sends". In addition to my wedding photo from 1996, I have also used my own photos of an old mill, a crumbling statue in a cemetery, and some marshland to create a flooded scene.
  • A 1996 Wedding Photo in Saint Marys, Kansas, Bride Rose Anderson, 1996

    Rose Anderson - Bride - 1996
    This is a photo taken of my wedding in the Christian Extremist cult in Saint Marys, Kansas, 1996. I used this photo in my print "Annunciation" (I am the Handmaid of the Lord).
  • Wylie Mill - Interior.jpg

    the inside of an old mill in Pennsylvania
    This is a photograph I took of the inside of an old mill in Pennsylvania. I used it to create the "church" environment in my print "Annunciation (I am the Handmaid of the Lord".
  • Annunciation - Angel.JPG

    photo of an angel in a cemetery in Baltimore City
    I took this photo of an angel in a cemetery in Baltimore City. I used the photo in my print "Annunciation (I am the Handmaid of the Lord)". For me broken statues symbolize not only constructs that are oppressive and unsustainable, but also the deconstruction of the Eurocentric views that Classicism can sustain by excluding other styles and cultural expression.

Writings: My Memoir Is Not About Me

I have known ever since my escape twenty years ago from the cult I was raised in that I would write a book, but I couldn't begin until I had discovered through my artistic exploration what the book was about. More importantly, I needed to uncover what my story was not about.

It is not about the suffering of an abused wife who would risk anything to save her children.

It is not about one citizen who "pulled herself up by her bootstraps" and acheived the "American dream".

It is certainly not about how anyone can make it in America.

While I did live some version of these stories, and I did have to consider those themes over and over during the nearly twenty years it has taken me to begin this project, it turns out that my memoir is not about me at all. It is another part of the same investigation I have undertaken through my visual and interactive artworks.

I have learned to see my early life as a piece of performance art in which I played the leading role. As the protagonist in a play that no one saw, my job now is to recreate the script as best I can given the gaps in my memory caused by trauma and the passage of time. Rather than detail the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries of one life, it is a play that uses those stories as a vehicle for deep exploration of American social and economic constructs.

I have begun by writing short stories about my past and artfully tying those themes to current events. When I share the stories on my blog and on social media, they are providing more history, context for and engagement around my visual and interactive artworks.