There are layers and layers and layers to Rosie Perl and her artwork; and it’s hard to define exactly what it is that she does. Sometimes she’s a surface designer, sometimes a sculptor, sometimes an installation artist; but there is always the thread of craftsmanship that runs through everything. She calls herself an artworker.

It seems there isn’t a material that she has not tried, or is going to try…. each new idea brings with it fresh material challenges, and that’s exactly what she loves getting her teeth (or hands, as the case may be) into. “Sometimes I sew, sometimes I paint, sometimes I do modelmaking. Sometimes I use fiberglass, sometimes I use fabric, canvas, timber, plaster, paper, metal, …. Like I say, sometimes this fits ‘craft’, sometimes ‘art’. It’s all making to me, so yes, the art/craft [argument] thingy, indeed. Why is this a hang-up, I don’t know, but the crafting aspect of fine art seems obvious and has to do with skill. It’s a trade, a skill, to stretch a canvas and paint archivally and that requires an equal or greater level of commitment as an ‘Artist’, to ‘Craft’. It’s a crucial trade skill and inseparable from the practice as a whole.”

While she has done a huge variety of things for the corporate sector (more on that in a moment), her personal projects include customised My Little Ponies, a DIY embroidered Fendi bag, puppy portraits and paper dolls.


rosie perl - customised My Little Ponies

{Rosie Perl – My Little Ponies – I.M.Pei, Bob Dylan, Artworker}


She ALWAYS has more than one project on the go at any given time. “Mostly, the benefits to me in having several projects running along is that when I get to a kind of tapped out level on one, there’s probably some process work (craft-ish) I can do on another and that just keeps me active. Making is very much a way of thinking to me and I do them both all the time.”


Rosie Perl - Puppy without a pearl earring

{Rosie Perl – Puppy without a pearl earring}


Rosie Perl - paper dolls

{Rosie Perl – Paper Doll project}


Born to Australian expats, Rosie spent most of her early childhood in SE Asia, travelling between locations such as Papa-New Guinea, Bali, Singapore and Malaysia. “I was schooled in a diverse range of places and cultures, all of which I still feel naturally drawn to and home in. I’m a happy traveller but it must be said that I’ve never been good at that pesky question, “Where are you from?”

“From this though, I learned adaptability & resilience; and that there are many different worlds and versions thereof in this world. This, I have never doubted. I have never expected anything different of life than difference.”

Returning to Queensland for her high school years, Rosie went on to receive her BA Fine Arts (Sculpture) in 1989. She commenced work as a model-maker, scenic painter, decorator and gilder to high end corporate offices and glamorous private residences. During this time among many other things, she worked on a variety of room screens for large hotels and other private clients, specialising in metallic patinas.


rosie perl - panels for Seoul hilton

{Rosie Perl – panels for Seoul Hilton,  featuring hand-printed patterned borders and Chinese calligraphy}


{Rosie Perl – Colonial Screen featuring hand-painted motifs}


Then after a stint in Europe, she returned to Sydney to work for a company that sources and procures artworks for the corporate market. She’s still there, and she loves it.


rosie perl - faux fendi bag

{Rosie Perl – faux Fendi bag project}
{explanation of this project here}


“Oh, and artworker? There once was an artist’s advocacy group (now defunct) I first came across as a student in the late 80’s, The Queensland Artworkers Alliance. I loved everything about this title. Artworker seemed so descriptive, so accurate a description to me! And “artist’ seems so laden with pejoratives sometimes. We work! And this is my profession. So it’s been my self-awarded title ever since.”

Rosie doesn’t mind a chat, and you can find much, much more about her, her incredibly diverse skills and the ArtWorker Project on her site here –


Rosie Perl - studio

{Rosie Perl – Artworker studio}

Given her amazing variety of experience and accomplishments, I asked her if there something quirky or curious about herself that she’d like to share.


“I have a deathly fear of cows. I really do.”