“FREEZE FRAME” 1982 - 83


POPULAR PRESS 'Freeze Frame' is a frieze of plaster self-portraits in which Rose's head adopts the attitudes of the role models offered her as a child, her hands holding casts of symbolic objects. The Virgin holds a cast of the Madonna placed beside her bed by her Catholic mother. She offers a spiritual life that is determined by religious dogma and ruled by sexual constraint. Eve, holding the little bird, represents the passivity of the woman who sees herself as a powerless observer, one cowed into inertia through circumstance. This time Pandora opens a book, the container of knowledge and a possible way forward. Yet language is tailored to lend credence to the thoughts of men, while the knowledge available to us represents a masculine view of the world. Joan brandishes the gun, having adopted the active masculine role. But aggression represses women and therefore offers no real alternative. It's a gloomy set of options, but the backcloth of 'Freeze Frame' flows beyond the boundaries of the constraining rectangle, implying that growth and change are possible - choice is not altogether a myth.
Sarah Kent, Time Out, March 1993

ARTIST'S NOTES 'Freeze Frame' was an attempt to make visible the 'trauma of eventlessness' in the lives of women. To explain ... I'm in front of the camera and being recorded for television. The Director is instructing me to turn my head this way then that, to turn the book towards the camera, to bend my knee a bit more. Out of the corner of my eye I can see a video monitor with my image live on it. The image looks perfect. The Director is pleased. I'm pleased - my discomfort, my distortion for the viewer didn't show. It's only on the train home that it dawns on me that I've been fulfilling the classic role of the catch 22 female model, looking good at the expense of my own feelings, my reward was pleasure at 'his' pleasure. This is the moment when everything stops, when nothing changes, when gender conditioning freezes the frame. The next day I began work on 'Freeze Frame'.
Rose Garrard 1986

'Frameworks' Lewis Johnstone Gallery London
'Frames of Mind' Kettle's Yard Cambridge
'Between Ourselves' Ikon Gallery Birmingham

Pigmented resin and fibreglass panel.