Rod McIntosh is an artist who works between Kent and London as an exhibiting artist and consultant to the creative industries. He maintains a dynamic arts practice alongside a successful Arts Management career. His works have minimal subject other than material, processes and an exploration of a visual language of marks. Through this, he creates seemingly simple, but incredibly effective works of art. He is also creative facilitator providing bespoke training across educational and business environments, he lectures and writes about artists professional practice.
Rod has just had a two person show (with Blandine Bardeau) in Wandsworth with Caiger Contemporary Art and was also at the Affordable Art Fair Bristol with Bristol Contemporary. He will be at The Other Art Fair at Truman Brewery in October. For the latter, Rod was commissioned to produce the Invitations and the VIP Invites, where he has completed 1421 enso, representing the 1421 days between the first and the 10th fairs. You can view a beautiful video about this process on YouTube.
Rod is also one of the 30 artists selected for the #ThirtyForThirty competition run by Buro4. For this art competition, Buro4 has tasked thirty emerging artists to each produce a piece of art that responds to a building they helped to deliver from 30 years in business. Rod's piece, 'It Starts With You', was completed in August following site visits to the Foster + Partners building the Folkestone Academy. Inspired by the physicality and philosophy of the school, Rod embarked on creating an ambitious work that pushed his techniques across scale and new materials and finishes to achieve his largest piece to date. (This is the work in the photo on the left.) The work of all the artists was exhibited at the National Theatre in September with the book launch to follow later in the year.
In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
To have gotten to a place whether through age or experience but definitely my choices! To do more of what makes me happy. That enables me to lead an integrated and authentic creative life. My studio is at home in rural Kent, and my day begins with physical and creative rituals that enable the walk across the drive to the studio to be the start of a great day.
Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
Oh gosh.. So many people who have inspired me or challenged me, within and outside of the art world. However, I think I am grateful and connect with the finger tips and minds of our predecessors. That across the ancient world picked up a charred piece of wood or rock of exquisite ochre and discovered mark making and in turn a language to express and transcend themselves.
What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
You are the sum of your parts! Acceptance. And to breathe my way through a challenge.
If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
Be active. I push myself through a fear or my procrastination by engaging myself in an activity that is part of a process. To not sit in front of a blank sheet of paper, waiting. I find preparing materials or following a methodical and repetitive process liberates me from a judgemental mind and ideas begin to formulate and flow. Always have note book at hand.
And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
A pair of walking boots. I love to hike and trek up things. I love the feeling of experiencing an unobstructed horizon from a mountain and regaining a sense of perspective. So if I could not be the one wearing them, then at least I would share the adventure.