Southern Cross graduate takes video art to another dimension

Rose Staff and one of her large-scale light installations

It’s pure magic: the classical facade with stern columns and heavy architectural lines transformed into a brilliant moving garden, as shapes of light and colour dip and combine in dazzling, hypnotic patterns, growing into flowers that bloom and burst and transform into a sky of fireworks, a flock of doves, a gargoyle and back into geometrical patterns once more. The colours move across the bodies of the spellbound viewers, drawing them into this extraordinary, magical display. This is the work of Radiance, the name in art of Southern Cross University visual arts graduate and artist, Rose Staff.

Highlights from façade building projection at All Together Now Festival, Waterford, Ireland. Animation & Motion Design: Rose Staff & Nick Azidis.

Radiance is the reflection or emission of light and the name was not an accidental choice. Rose’s large scale installations are a gorgeous visual feast of light and movement that have featured in some of the most well-known festivals and contemporary galleries around the country and internationally – from Vivid in Sydney to the UK’s Glastonbury Festival and Athens Digital Art Festival in Greece, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal and The Australian Centre of the Moving Image.

Rose’s work uses experimental hybrids of traditional and digital art, that might take the form of 360 degree immersive dome projections inside a circular architectural space or motion tracking of the physical body to manipulate and alter visual imagery, drone photography or even animations with synchronised soundscapes to creative audio visual installations.

It’s an art form that has enjoyed a surge of recognition lately, says Rose. “Visual mapping and my kind of video art has really exploded over the last five years – I think the internet has been a major influence in this – people come to the show, take videos and that spreads.

“Many of the projection mapping installations I have created are impermanent and exist for a short time – sometimes just one night or a week. It’s the documentation of these that is shared on video platforms which means people who were not present at the time can still experience the work even though the artwork itself doesn’t physically exist anymore. “

Rose says the visual arts training she experienced at Southern Cross was critical to establishing her practice, which became the bedrock for her career.

“Creative thinking was a very strong element in the course, the technical stuff I picked up later but being able to think about WHY you are doing something is very important. People put their time and energy into you and your practice for three years and that is very valuable,” she says.

Rose sees self-belief and a commitment to practice as fundamental to making a successful career as an artist. “I had always made art as a child and my family supported me in the degree but it took a few years to establish my practice. Some people might discourage you from pursuing a course in Fine Arts as they worry about your employment opportunities at the end. However the value of doing the degree is immense and it’s a pathway to many other opportunities. The first few years after graduation are critical, some people just give up. But the rewards for persevering and establishing your practice are there.”

See more of Rose’s work.

/Public Release. View in full here.