ROSES OF REDOUBT
This project is dedicated to all the rose lovers, givers and growers in the ‘Redoubt’ area of Eastbourne, East Sussex.
Gathered between 2018 - 2020, These 169 Roses (40 shown here) map the residential area of about a one mile radius from the Napoleonic Redoubt Fortress which sits on the seafront. This neighbourhood made up of mostly terraced houses is framed by the sea, a park, a long straight road called Seaside and the town. It is the area where I live.
This book is inspired by ’Les Roses’ published between 1817-24 by Belgian artist Pierre-Joseph Redoute, which illustrates 169 beautiful stipple engravings of Roses from Empress Josephine’s English rose garden at Chateau de Malmaison, Paris.
I wanted to create a portrait of the Redoubt area that did not communicate its wealth, ethnicity, political leanings, gender or age. Each rose is named after the person that handed one to me as a gift from their front garden or the place where they grew.
Pierre-Joseph Redoute’s name and ‘Redoubt’ have the same meaning of ‘formidable’ or ‘stronghold’. More than ever, in these times of a divisive culture heightened by the drive of the media and social media, it is important that communities support, nurture and give strength to one another.
Our differences are important but it is also about what we have in common and despite the salty air, roses seem to thrive here.