Roses of Redoubt (Portrait of a Community)

Elizabeth Doak

Inspired by the book ‘Les Roses’ published between 1817-24
that contained exquisite stipple engravings by Belgian artist
Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759 - 1840), this project brings together ‘portraits’ of roses collected from gardens in the Redoubt area of Eastbourne.

The area is named after the fortress on the seafront built in 1805. Redoubt and Redoute have the same meaning of ‘formidable’ or

UK communities have recently experienced a lot of disruptive tensions caused by the political climate (and now Covid 19), - heightened by the drive of the media and subsequently social media to create an inflammatory and divisive culture. Because of this I wanted to create a project that talked positively about common ground. Togetherness and friendship, tolerance and compassion.

Roses, despite the salty air, thrive and grow abundantly here and so using Roses as a symbol to create an alternative type of portrait seemed a perfect and level way to represent the people of my neighbourhood.

Artist biography

I am a Photographer and Artist Educator working with galleries, schools and community based projects in the South East. I also produce work for exhibition and publication.

I have been an educator at the National Portrait Gallery for over 15 years and have owned and run two branches of a children's bookshop while my children were small.

Before this I was in a creative partnership working in the pop and tv industry for magazines, art directing pop videos and creating album cover art.

I am currently studying for an MA in photography as a student at the University of Brighton.