Gill Roth

01 September 2021

Featured in Deptford X: 2021


What was your project at the Deptford X Festival?

Suspended Animation. A collaboration with Andrew Clarke. A flat pack mobile sculpture centred around two interlocking figures, one from each of us. Framed by the black doorway of an old workshop, the installation of bold cut-outs depicts dislocated and disjointed forms hanging over a narrow lane off Deptford High Street.

Describe your studio or workspace.

Until recently I was working in a leaky shed at the end of the garden. It was made by my neighbour purely from scrap found in skips. It had a Perspex dome and one wall was built around a tree. It was never meant to be a studio but it worked fine during the summer months. In winter I headed back into the house where I set up tables in the back half of the living room. The walls still bare the scars of masking tape and paint marks. Things are about to change radically as I am currently having a studio built where the shed was. It will be insulated, heated and weather proof! A dedicated space where I can work all year round. Absolute luxury.

What is inspiring you at the moment?

Just before I dismantled my old studio I made a series of cyanotypes using lacy underwear, muslin, plastic bags and rubber gloves. I lined them up on the studio wall and worked on them simultaneously, drawing into the prints and adding painted marks and collaged elements. The result is a series of fragmented figures and truncated torsos. They have an x-ray quality and a twitchy inner tension. The sense of something unpinned down, of empty space and unfinished gestures. I’m planning on continuing with this method for a while. I like the ambiguous shapes and happy accidents created by the cyanotypes.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I’m usually in the studio by about 9.30 and I’m done by 4 or 5. I never work at night. I’m currently taking an online course with The Essential School of Painting so Fridays are full of interesting group discussion, project work and useful critical feedback. This really helps me stay on track when I’m on my own the rest of the week. Some days are full of energy and the time flies by, others are a struggle and completely unproductive. But even if I don’t accomplish anything it is positive to just be in the studio surrounded by my work and materials.

If Tate called you tomorrow and invited you to make work for the Turbine Hall, what would it be?

A huge wobbly, transparent, fleshy female inflatable with trembling limbs and twitching hands.

Plug your next show/event! Or what words of support or encouragement would you like to share with your fellow artists?

It’s never too late. I’m a restarter. I had a career and a cared for a parent but now I’m committed to my practice full time.

Website: www.gillroth.com

Instagram: @rothgill

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