Name: Roswitha Selle, but my friends call me Rosa. Therefore the name RosArt for my art.
Where do you live?
I grew up in the GDR. In the former East Berlin, in the district of Prenzlauer Berg. Today I live in Berlin Koepenick. I love my city very much, especially the closeness to nature. We have a lot of water here, forests and green areas. Although Koepenick is a district of Berlin, here the time and people are and do things differently, more slowly and rather rural. If we go into the Köpenicker center, we always say “we go into town”.
I work as an artist in painting and as a film actress. I would classify in the category Naive Art and I am self-taught, a category discovered during the beginning of the 19th century by the art historian Wilhelm Uhde and used by modern artists.
Currently working with:
Throughout my whole childhood, I grew up with an interest in art. Especially my father recognized my love for pictures, it was our common interest. We visited several galleries and exhibitions of Heinrich Zille, Otto Nagel, Rembrandt, Picasso and Hundertwasser. He knew a lot about the stories, so he could tell me a lot about the events of that time and the lives of artists. I remember that we, with my mother and sister, together with paints, brushes and paper sat outdoors and painted landscapes. I dreamed of being an artist and saw myself in front of a canvas with a paintbrush and palette. Then I saw the film van Gogh and wanted to make films.
Well so much went in life other than dreamed and I had to wait many years before my dream happened and when I was able to realize this. In 2009 I started as an extra work in movies and this inspired my imagination and creativity, so I then started painting. Both are often closely connected, complement each other and that inspired me. Two examples: The picture was taken at Panther filming the German adaptation of the Australian series of block B, where I participated as an extra. Here, I imagined this before in relation to the same name poem by Rilke. The picture Nordsee and show-like is related to the shooting of the film Jade Leonie Krippendorff. The landscape and the story of the movie fascinated me and we went there to see it in February. Schau-Lust was born from the idea that I as a small Actress was a patentee with fear phobia. I dealt with it myself and imagined how it is to be afraid to fall and all eyes are on me. In my paintings I tell stories.
There’s plenty to discover, or I want add to major events, thoughts which I have received or represent affect my life on the heart or the soul. Here is an example: The image harvest was after a trip with my parish to Brandenburg. I think as a Christian and that I have to thank God for this gift and live it the opportunity. That’s why I always have a cross placed somewhere in my pictures to match the subject. On a church steeple, or a mountain, or a chain. Some pictures I’ve painted with Christian background. This is my way to say thank you and to know that this is not self-evident.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this?
The beginnings I have already described in the previous question. How many people go in the world, I caught up with the everyday life and real life. In the GDR, I was not allowed to study and later after 1989 I had to make money since I moved with my two children by myself. The transition for people from the East was characterized by insecure and low-paying jobs and driven by existential fears. My thoughts only revolved around to earn good money and to move forward in life and to offer a good life to my children. And I forgot what that means real true life.
Until I was 40 years got and seriously ill. I had a neurological disease and was in danger of going blind. It took a few years until the cause had been identified and treated. During this time I had no other choice than to come to rest, to think about my life. I developed my fantasy since I could hardly read or watch movies, or rarely even leave home. Audio books were my best friends, and it emerged among the images.
Since I am a Christian I gave up hope and had never developed a list of what I would do and what I really matters in life, when I can see again. At the top was the acting and painting. My priorities had shifted and I started to live this in 2009. From the beginning, my father and the Pastor Ralf Musold from our city parish accompanied me. Hr. Pf. Musold supported me, gave me confirmation and encouragement in my actions. He even bought some pictures from me.
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
I can say this place, since my environment has influenced me with all the people. But I would imagine to be a traveler, always return and convert the starting points of the images in me with the impressions and new influence.
How would you describe your creativity?
Emotional, connecting events with fantasy and secular with a Christian touch, processed stories and thoughts.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Well, “serious” kills every kind of creativity. But I have realized that I am filled with my work, and that’s what makes us happy. I need this, purpose in life and passion. All other constraints would make me sick. Now from the art I can, like many other artists, also not live. But I am grateful that I live in a society that secures my existence modestly. This I am also grateful to the society, and I do much voluntary work. For example, I support the film students in their final work as an actress, playing in the theater without a fee. I have donated some pictures of the Evangelical Church for an auction. These funds were then supporting refugees in Germany.
What do you do at the moment?
I am glad that I can participate in the Köpenick Theater in FUGA in one piece for children. It‘s directed by Sylvia Hueckelkamp together with Christian Bleyhoeffer. Here I may even play a super small Mini piece on the Cylophon with the other actor. I had to deal with notes as well, which was absolutely new for me and fun. It’s kind of the feeling to be able to be a child again.
Since 2014 I take classes in drama school – acting people – and I will get my completion certificate in September 2015. This I finance, among through other jobs, as a film actress. From this I turn many new ideas from characters to paint.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Unfortunately, I cannot because I have no experience with companies in the creative sector. I am looking for anyone who can live from his creativity and wish you every success. I’m not running a business since I think that the pressure in the context as an entrepreneur would affect my creativity.
Tell us how it all started.
Much I have already described. But, if I may make a recommendation. Just start, have no fear. One step at a time. Do not give up even if it is not easy. Have friends that encourage and support you and are honest.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Now I have no studio and don’t need one for my work. I work in my apartment. Because I can work if I just kisses the Muse or I suddenly get an idea in my sleep and much more. Here I pause to collect myself. I think it’s ideal but I would like to have a little more space, maybe a separate room. To have the possibility to show my pictures to an audience.
What is your favorite film?
Oh, because there are so many I can only mention a few to stand as representatives. The film “Cloud Atlas” I was very tied upon, only because I was fascinated with the book from Roland Emmerich “Anonymous”. I love historical films and the theme Shakespeare explains itself. The American series of House of Cards is indeed what Shakespeare made, only based in our day and age. Game of Thrones is a film where the characters do not act as we expect, there is no good and evil or right and wrong.
There are also so many good German movies, such as “Naked among Wolves”, “Our fathers, our mothers,” or “Time of Cannibals” with Striesow who is a very good actor. For me, he is a role model, because he can play so many characters so well. There’s a little anecdote. In my early days as an extra I had a little job on the set of the film “Three”. In the extras area we all talked, and I was very excited and constantly taking pictures to commemorate. Today I am more relaxed. Anyway, there was a new colleague there, sitting down and reading. I wanted to be friendly, said hello and asked if he was also an extra and if he had been working for a long time. He smiled and replied briefly and continued reading. Then we came to the meeting and the actors were presented. Among others, a colleague with whom I spoke. That was D. Striesow. I was so embarrassed I could sink into the ground.
Who would you invite for a dinner and why?
I would make a nice picnic by the lake, inviting my friends, colleagues, sponsors and agencies. Each brings something really nice.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
By staying somewhere in the countryside, near a lake, on a nice summer day. I’d bring along a small picnic basket with a glass of wine, enjoying the sounds of nature.
What is luxury for you?
Luxury is in my eyes all of those things that I did not have, all which I cannot afford and do not need to live. But now and then I treat myself with something good, a little bit of luxury. It does indeed do good for the soul.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I have received so many compliments. These did help a lot when I, as an artist, had moments of doubt or questioning. This gave me the encouragement and served as a confirmation that I’m on the right track. The most significant was a compliment for me, from my father. He told me he was proud of me as I have, despite some misfortunes and challenges, realized my dreams.
What do you fear most?
My biggest fear it would be if I was forced to have to give up my creative work, which I love. The painting and the work as a film actress has become my purpose in life and lifeblood.
What is a happy life to you?
All human beings strive for a happy life, but cannot make it because they are too busy with the search. It is everywhere distributed in small individual parts. You just have to pick up and put together. I have come to realize in recent years. I have to keep working at it not to lose sight of the only daily. Also important is a peaceful, free and tolerant social environment. Where will I live my strengths, talents and skills and transferring can and accepted as a human being, just as I am.
What does a regular day look like for you?
The most important thing for me in the morning is to drink my coffee and eat some snacks. After that, I plan my day, depending on if I have appointments or jobs, learning texts, receiving updates and other things. So, basically, like anyone else spends their day. When I get inspired I start to paint and then I just forget about everything around me. It happens now and then that I have an appointment and then just a sudden struck by inspiration. It’s like a compulsion, I have to start painting these thoughts. If not, they would just occupy my mind completely and I wouldn’t be able to think about anything else.
Tell us about your dream project.
My biggest dream would be to have an international exhibition. But it’s only a dream. A regional exhibition would be really nice and thus gaining recognition of my work and love of art. Another dream is to get a small role in an international film. But it falls short due to the English language skills required. But I can dream, yes. These do inspire and drive all people. Who knows, maybe this will some true someday.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
There are so many models and inspiration. My list would go on indefinitely. I always admire the old masters of painting, that perfection with which they represented landscapes and people. I also admire with what imagination they painted places and cultures that they had never seen or knew only by words. Fortunately, the invention of photography today is something liberating. This gives us the opportunity to free ourselves from painting only by imagination, inspiration and imagination. The first painter who inspired me was Rembrandt, the man with the golden helmet. I also read, as a teenager at the time, the book about his life. As a real Berliner, who grew up in the district of Prenzlauer Berg, I also loved Heinrich Zille and his milieu and the socially critical paintings of Otto Nagel. Images and Art of Hundertwasser inspire me because of the stories that are told by his images and vibrant colors.
The pioneers of the film are role models to me. Films such as Robert Wiene‘s “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920), Paul Wegener’s “The Golem: How He Came Into the World” (1920), Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s “The Last Laugh” (1924), Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” (1926).
Which is the one thing you can‘t live without?
Freedom of choice and to decide freely and be able to live my passions.
What inspires you?
Life inspires me. The passions, emotions, melancholy, beauty, desire, faith, love, hope, moments of the moment and the imagination.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
There are so few books that have changed my life and way of thinking and influences. But my first book, which I read as a child, were the fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers. With those stories, I was able to take refuge in my own little world and let my imagination flow.
Unfortunately, my joy to read books was taken away in my school days, by forcing us to read certain books with a socialist content. From that time I have only the book “The Adventures of Werner Hold” in my memory. I only read the first part of the book, which was interesting and impressive to me how easily a young person could be deceived in the early days of the Nazi dictatorship. I didn’t read part two in school, because of that previously mentioned reason.
Only in my late teens I won back the joy of books and the first was a historic book, which I was recommended by my father. Victor Hugo‘s “The laughing mask”. The love for history has remained until this day. When I read a really good book, I can’t stop and will read it through completely even if it takes me the whole night. I get so intrigued by the book and can’t really just move on to read another one until I’m able to calm down a little.
I’d like to dedicate this interview in loving memory of my father. I would also like to thank all people who have, in their own way, supported me.