Rose Frain

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This Time in History:
What Escapes (2014-1914)

The V&A, London July 9th 2014 - February 1st 2015.

'This Time in History: What Escapes (2014- 1914)' is an installation bringing together objects selected from across the V&A by Rose Frain, with found objects she has assembled and artworks she has made, as a total work.

Reflecting on WW1 in it's centenary year and connecting to earlier and current conflicts, the work features formal repetitions indicative of the percussions of combat and the rhythms of heart beat and breath, alongside objects suggesting the surreal juxtapositions of the unconscious, signalling the tragedy of war and the vulnerabilities of the individual, across time.

Repetitive circles indicate bullet wounds and Shakespeare's 'little o the earth'. Objects include 3D printed WW1 munitions, fragments of actual WW1 munitions, examples of present day UK soldiers kit and precious museum items such as an 18th century Arm Guard from Afghanistan and a Shakespeare First Folio.

'This Time in History: What Escapes (2014- 1914)' was curated for the V&A by Elizabeth James, Senior Librarian, The National Art Library.

I find the display intriguing and moving - the shells the more terrifying for being pristine and I really like odd items, like the phrase book. I've looked at it several times now on my way into the Library and find different narratives each time.
V&A staff member
I was thinking about the way your work is remarkable when you see it - but then goes on working inside your head. Coleridge claimed that creativity is about making connections - he named the ability to make these connections 'esemplastic power' - and I think that your work is so powerful because it leaves sufficient space for 'the beholder's share' (Riegl) - the creative identity of the beholder is activated by the work. I want to go back to it and see it again and again.

I think the 3D printed shells are an inspired addition. The plaster inertia of your 3D printed shells and grenades presents them as 'ideal standard forms' - connecting them to cones and cubes and spheres and disrupting the otherworldliness of Plato's idea.

Lesley Kerman, artist
At NAL today, felt bereft as your work de-installed.
John Cowpertwait

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