Roo Abrook is a woman with a rarely seen creative depth. I think this is why her work is so unique and of course collectable! Her style and vision appeal to a very interesting audience, attracting buyers from all over the world.
Creating an all-women issue for December, I knew for a while I wanted Roo to play a part in that and was thrilled when she agreed to produce work for the front cover, ’Husheen’ being the end result. Wow and what a beauty she is! With a very classic look and offering a timeless, almost old Hollywood glamour it appeals to all ages. Having attended her 2017 exhibition at Hounds and buying a couple of prints there, I fell in love with Roo’s style straight away. Offering a sense of romanticism, her recent collection of ladies faces really draws you into a world where you see the soul through the eyes -the beauty that surrounds it is breathtaking.
Using unique techniques, Roo creates layers with music paper and magazines, then screen prints onto tissue paper and adds final touches with spray paint. There is an individual and creative use of many mediums which all come together to create her lovely pieces.
Talking of her work, Roo said that she worked in the fashion industry for a while which had given her a sense of coordinating her artwork into mini collections. At the moment, Roo has moved on from the theme of using 1880- 1910 postcards to create lots of her recent work and started using more 50’s magazines as collage with typography, adding depth and layering to her current work. Throw in neon colours and you can definitely see a distinctive change in direction with the women’s faces having a strong, visual look to them.
Chatting about her style you can see that her childhood has played a big part in her passion for collecting old things. As a young girl always pottering around auction rooms, finding interesting old things it then developed into being an adult and wandering around car boots and antique shops to find the perfect art materials. Roo said that she loves taking something that isn’t in use anymore (like the old Edwardian postcards) and turning it into something that people are going to value. It means a lot to her and she enjoys bringing an old item back to life!
Studying fine art and then adding metal and ceramics to her studies, Roo had a very creative start; working in the fashion industry, owning her own fashion label and then working in graphic design means that she has always been in creative fields of work. What I find exciting about her is that she has adapted and used her experience in all these fields in her art. This adds new focus to her work all the time because she has such adaptability and can try her hand at most things and I love that! Working in an organic way, Roo follows her feelings. She likes to work on collections and sometimes then go back and revisit the work she has done in the past.
One of my favourite parts of Roo’s current collection has been the use of spray paint for the finishing touches like the cheeks and eyebrows, it offers such a distinctive style. I think I like it because in interiors we use the word eclectic (mixing old with new). Roo does this organically by mixing old style postcards and materials, then adding the modern spray paint and so producing an eclectic piece of art that many will look back on with interest in generations to come. In her last 2 exhibitions, (which have both been held at Hounds Barbers on Highland Road) there was such a choice of work on offer with prints and large pieces for sale. Smaller works were also available so it always remains affordable to fans.
Standing out above all else is that when I look at Roo’s work I am in awe of her but when you sit with her and have a cup of tea, she is a mum, a wife and so relatable and that’s what makes this artist a special lady. Because it doesn’t matter what she has achieved in the past and no doubt in my mind what she will achieve in the future, she is a very lovely person.
If you love the current piece ‘Husheen’ on the front cover then Roo is available for commissions and also look out later in the year when hopefully there will be another exhibition (please!)
Visit Roo’s website www.rooabrook.co.uk
and Instagram www.instagram/rooabrook
Featured Image – Roo Abrook
By Louise O’Brien