My childhood was often very scary. In my mind I created my own fantasia that I could escape to. It was a sacred place full of whimsical visions all for me and only for me. But a child’s mind of escape can be a lonely place so I often longed to share the magic. I had a deep love for art and thought it would be the way. However, my attempts at drawing and painting never came easy and for the most part were failures. So I gave it up. I also had a love for literature and as a teen began to write to express myself. I had so many ideas to recreate my fantasy worlds, though at the time all I could write were poems of raw emotion. While in college, I finally began to write out my stories but strangely these were not of the enchanted realms from my childhood. Instead, they were manifestations of a deep darkness and sadness within me. Despite my best efforts, bottled-up pain and fear was all I could write about and each story would take on a life of it’s own. Once I sat to write, the stories would practically write themselves from beginning to end with no breaks. It was as if my soul used writing as a way to exorcise my demons. I was constantly re-living & analyzing my past in hopes to brace myself for tomorrow. It was intense spending these years in a perpetual state of contemplation. However, artistically it made for great fiction and my unique style of horror gained a small cult following years later when my books were published. After grabbing my B.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing from UCLA I started a publishing company, called Ink Pen Mutations Press. Never giving up on my love for art, I created my company to publish illustrated stories. Other artists did the illustrations while I worked as art director.
In 2008 I rented a resident space at the famous Hive Gallery in downtown LA. I was the only resident that wasn’t a visual artist. My space was a collective within a collective, to promote my books by showcasing the original artwork used as illustrations. It was great for my publishing company and to further surround myself with art, but deep inside there was a hunger. I continued to crave the ability to visually express the whimsical visions I still held onto from my childhood but could never express in my writing. It burned me up inside thinking I could never share this side of me.
For two years I struggled with the downward spiral of several loved ones that reached a tragic climax in 2010 and broke my spirit. It was too much for me to deal with. I didn’t know how to cope. I knew I couldn’t save them and if I continued to try it would kill me. It was unbearable for me to helplessly witness the demise of those I most cherished.
During this time I kept having dreams that I was a child playing with a collection of witch potions and other magical trinkets. Finally I realized these were memories. Throughout my childhood I would collect tiny objects into glass bottles and jars pretending I was either a scientist or a sorceress. Usually they were dead insects, pretty rocks, dried flora, or whatever mechanical bits were left on the floor of my father’s garage. My treasures would either delight or horrify whoever I showed.
These childhood memories inspired me to search for all tiny things that I felt attracted to. The most important was my discovery of a few old broken watches. With a razor blade I took them a part piece by piece. My imagination went wild and I began to see little robots and little factories. I added these mechanical bits to my pile of skull beads, beetles, gemstones I pulled from unwanted jewelry, and dead roses I saved from old bouquets. I stared at it all over night with much delight. Soon after, I began to make clockwork miniature robots and their mechanical environments. With no background in art or mechanics, I had to teach myself everything through books and the internet.
The amount of concentration and patience required to create these pieces became my form of meditation. I found that each operation was so delicate and intricate that no other thought could enter my mind besides the exact task at hand. It was the first time I could truly escape the runaway thoughts of my past and future. Finally I found a way to truly experience the now. The more intricate and involved the project was the better. I then started adding movement to the sculptures. Creating my first Watchbot cities of order and peace helped to heal me.
My Watchbot work is the physical representation of my fast-paced mind reaching moments of harmony and stability among the decay and disarray. Being able to reach this state of mind has given me the power to embrace the darkness inside of me and use it to add more texture to my art by incorporating other exotic materials such as taxidermy ephemera and scientific specimens. My taxidermy automata and curiosity sculptures represent the beauty that can be found in that decay and disarray.
Today I feel that my art does reflect my childhood’s fantasia and I hope everyone can feel the magic that helped me cope as a child and healed my soul as an adult.
– Contact Ave Rose for bookings, events, etc. Ave@AveRoseArt.com