Symbolic, Imaginary, Real

25 Jun 2018 – 20 Jul 2018

Event times

10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday

Cost of entry


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A solo show of recent work by Cumbrian artist Rosie Galloway-Smith, spanning painting, sculpture, including a specially put together installation exploring reflections on the Syrian refugee crisis.


Rosie Galloway-Smith’s solo exhibition at the Vallum Gallery, University of Cumbria, explores themes ranging from shelter / dislocation to abjection and psychological states through figurative painting, installation, and self-made artefacts.

The exhibition is divided between earlier painted arrangements of faces made between 2014 and 2017, which developed her interest in fragmentation, and recent work investigating emotions through materials, and physical processes of disintegration, with clothing becoming substitutes for the physical human body. Applying different processes, items are changed into forms that negate their usefulness and draw attention to their individual character as real objects in themselves, semi-religious relics/ artefacts that provoke a sense of uncanniness. Rosie’s work relates to French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s psychic realms of the Symbolic, Imaginary and Real, aiming to create a dynamic between real objects, subverted symbolism, and imaginary interpretations.

A highlight of the show is a specially created large installation of concreted odd shoes called ‘Good Intentions’ which delves into complex attitudes towards the Syrian refugee crisis. The idea for the piece was born when Rosie heard about an enormous pile of odd shoes that had been donated by the British public to regional refugee charities. The uselessness of the donations made her reflect on the distance between the real humanitarian crisis and our interaction with it through our television and computer screens. Collecting the shoes was funded by Glasgow School of Art Sustainability who work on issues of social, environmental and ethical (SEE) interest.

Rosie completed a foundation course in 1993 at the Brampton Road campus at Cumbria College of Art and Design, and went on to study sculpture and painting in Hull. After an extensive period of teaching in Northern Portugal, Barcelona, London, Canada and Cumbria, during which she continued developing her art practice, she is currently completing her Master’s degree at Glasgow School of Art.

For more information please contact Rosie on 07912369467 or rosiegallowaysmith@gmail.com

What to expect? Toggle


Laura Baxter

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Rosie Galloway-smith

Taking part


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