Interview by Frankie Noller

1. Introduce yourself

I’m Rosie Melville, I’m in studio 3 at Sun Pier House in Chatham, and I’m a Fine Artist.

2. Describe yourself in less than 50 words.
I mostly make small scale sculpture, usually incorporating found materials
I have a real passion for materials, so I use a wide variety in my work. I’m always learning how to use the next material, testing it’s limits and potential.

3. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Strood and live there now, after being back and forth to a couple of places.

4. When was the first time you became aware of art and how old where you?
Very young – some of my earliest memories are of being in my dads workshop at home. He’s been a potter for 35 years now, so I’ve always been surrounded by art.

5. Talk us through the artwork that you make, what materials and themes etc.
I’m very interested in shape and form, and I’m usually drawn to materials that lend themselves to creating and manipulating structure. I’ve used lots of materials to achieve that: chicken bones, found objects, wire, wax.
I make a lot of work about mental health, and there’s usually an element of natural history in my work too. I’m fascinated by natural collections, museum displays and organic shapes.
I love making work that makes the viewer think twice about what they’re seeing, and to make them question the work. And this comes into my use of materials, like wax and plaster.
Another aspect of my practice is working with people in the community. I’ve seen the difference it can make to someone when you can support them to make their own art. It really makes a positive change to people’s health and confidence, and of course, their overall wellbeing.

6. What artwork are you making at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on some slip cast work, as well as going back to crochet. This time I’m looking at invisible illnesses, like mental health, and physical illnesses like pain and fatigue.

7. What do you love about having a studio here at Sun Pier House?
I really love that it’s quiet and peaceful here. I find there’s a real sense of calm when I’m working here. I think it’s being by the river – being close to nature. And I like working alongside other Artists and being part of a community.

8. Do you have any exhibitions or shows coming up?
I’m hoping to submit some work for the invisible illnesses exhibition that is being put together by Zara Carpenter and Matt Bray – that should be here at Sun Pier House in April next year.

9. Explain more about what you’re doing at Medway Open Studios
This year will be the fourth time I’ve done open studios. I really enjoy it – for me it’s most about meeting people, having those interesting conversations and interactions. I find it quite inspiring and always come to the end of the 2 weeks with more ideas of what I want to do next.
I really enjoy visiting other artists too, because it’s always interesting to see how other people work and what they’re up to.
I’ll have the beginnings of my new work to show this year.

10. Finally, Do you have any tips for young budding artists out there?
As an artist, you’re always learning, so be open minded. Take opportunities and enter all the exhibitions you can, make regular contact with other artists. Take feedback on board but don’t compromise your work for others. Most of all, no matter how hard it gets, just don’t stop making!

Frankie Noller is the Social Media and Digital Marketing consultant at Sun Pier House. She works with artists and designers in Medway to promote their space and the Artists work.


Medway Open Studios & Arts Festival

This year will be the fourth year I’ve taken part in Medway Open Studios. I really enjoy it – for me it’s mostly about meeting people; having those interesting conversations and interactions. I find it quite inspiring, and always come to the end of the 2 weeks with a lot more ideas buzzing around my head. It’s amazing the difference it makes to get together with a bunch of like-minded creatives.

I really enjoy visiting other artists too, and there are a lot of them in Medway, squirrelled away in spare rooms, loft spaces, sheds and garages. It’s always interesting to see how other people work and what they’ve been up to over the past year.

I’ll have the beginnings of my new work to show this year – my adventure into ceramics – along with lots of other work.

Open Studios starts THIS WEEKEND…Click here for a map of all artists taking part this year.


Rats Bay Artists at Sun Pier House

Come along and catch up with the artists, meet some new faces, see what our artists have been up to over the past year, and enjoy a drink with us!

The first floor rats are: Rosie BannisterRosie Melville, Jocelyn Leigh, Becky Lehmann, Louise Nevett and Antony Martin.

The basement rats are: Marissa Mardon, Tina Finnerty, Joe Wise, Rossi Toltech and Naomi Sayers.

Over the Medway Open Studios Festival our studios will be open:
Saturday 16th, Sunday 17th, Saturday 23rd, and Sunday 24th 11am – 5pm

(We regret there is currently no disabled access to the first floor).


About the Festival…

Medway Open Studios & Arts Festival takes place every July throughout the Medway Towns. Run by volunteers the aim of the festival is to celebrate the wealth of creativity in Medway. The first festival took place in July 2012 with the aim of highlighting the quantity of artistic talent in the area. More and more artists have signed up year on year, benefitting the aims of the festival and promoting a positive opinion of Medway.

Now heading into its fifth year, the Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival has doubled in size since its conception in 2012.

Open studio festivals take place throughout the Country and are enjoyed by art enthusiasts and non-art lovers alike. There’s no pressure to buy or have any previous knowledge of art, you can simply enjoy a day out with a difference. The free art trail is fun for all ages and the range of work on show means there is something for everyone.


Contact MOSAF…


Twitter: @MwayOpenStudios

Facebook: Medway Open Studios


This information is from the Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival website.

Found Sculpture

Continuing the community workshops at the Theatre, the next I led was a sculpture workshop using found materials…

I like using found materials, because you never know what is going to be created – it depends on the materials provided, which personal objects people bring with them. Everyone uses the materials in their own way, injecting their own personality into their work.

This was the last Move & Make workshop for now, so I led a curating workshop in preparation for the exhibition. We helped everyone to title and describe their work.


Images: David Bahia