Between Two Cities with Rosa Park
Rosa Park is the kind of person that thrives wearing multiple hats; as the Editor of acclaimed travel and design publication Cereal, she’s crafted an unmistakable visual and written identity that is at once sophisticated and effortlessly cool. More recently Rosa founded Francis Gallery in Bath as a way to showcase artists whose work resonates with her and connect them with the gallery’s ever-growing audience. Over the past 15 years, Rosa has lived a somewhat nomadic life, leaving her home in Seoul to live in myriad cities including Vancouver, New York, Paris, and Honolulu. Today, Rosa and her partner Rich along with their son Turner reside between Bath and Los Angeles in two very different but equally enviable homes. We caught up with Rosa in Bath to talk about the design process for each space, the evolution of Cereal, and her intercontinental expansion plans for the gallery.
Photography Rich Stapleton
Hi Rosa, can you start by telling us where you are at the moment and what you’ve been doing today?
I’m currently at my office in Bath, UK, catching up on my inbox while trying to stay cool during this record-breaking heat wave! I am flying back to LA in a couple of days, so I’m trying to make the most of the remainder of my time here, with my team, and on UK projects that require my attention and input.
Can you talk a little bit about your home in Bath? How long have you lived there and what do you enjoy most about spending time in your space?
I live in a classic, grade II-listed Georgian flat, just across the road from The Holburne. We moved into this flat a year ago – just before relocating to LA – and I love the time I get to spend in this space when I’m back in England. The views out front overlook Sydney Garden, and the views out back look across our neighbors’ gardens and the abbey, so there is a feeling of living amidst nature, despite being in the center of town. My favorite activity is to enjoy a cup of tea (English breakfast if it’s chilly; Moroccan mint if it’s warm), and read on the sofa with all of the windows open. Quiet, alone time has become a rarity since my son’s arrival, so I cherish these moments when they arise.
Can you tell us about your home in LA, how does the energy and feeling of the space compare to your flat in Bath?
Our LA home is a Spanish Colonial built in the 20s, with a front courtyard featuring a fountain, and a back garden with a pond, so outdoor space plays a key role here. The Californian sun makes its way to each room, depending on the time of day; and I find myself moving through the house following the light. Sunset is the most magical at our place; I love winding down from a hectic day in the garden with Turner. He loves to ‘water’ our citrus trees and throw pebbles into the pond! For as much as our Bath flat has a certain restraint and elegance, our LA house has a light-heartedness and eclecticism.
Over the years you’ve developed a discerning eye for interiors and design in general, are there any fundamental ideas or philosophies that you’ve incorporated into your space?
I make every interiors decision based on how each object and piece makes me feel. That takes precedence over how things look. This way, I’m able to create spaces where I always feel at ease.
Cereal Magazine made a name for itself as a truly refined voice on travel and design, can you talk a little about the early days of Cereal and how it’s evolved over the years?
Cereal launched with a simple objective – to create a title that my peers would want to read, on the subjects of travel, art, and design. I always say that Cereal and its readership have grown and evolved with me. Its editorial direction has been and continues to be, a reflection of my personal interests and shape-shifting taste.
We know you have a beautifully curated collection of artwork at home; are there any favorite pieces or recent acquisitions that you’re particularly fond of?
My favorite work constantly changes, depending on my mood and what my recent acquisition has been! I recently purchased a couple of Etel Adnan prints which are at the framers, that I look forward to installing at home. I’m also about to purchase two works from the current Francis show in Bath – a stone work by JAMESPLUMB, and a photographic print by my partner, Rich Stapleton.
Speaking of art, can you tell us about Francis Gallery? What first inspired you to open the gallery and is there a certain type of art or artist that you’re drawn towards?
Like Cereal, Francis came into being from my desire to create a space that would show the kind of artists I admire, in a setting that resonates with my aesthetic sensibilities. I tend to be drawn to abstraction; but lately, I find myself acquiring quite a few figurative works. For me, what all of our artists have in common is a soulfulness in their process and therefore the final work. That emotional connection, as mentioned previously, is of paramount importance to me.
We hear there’s also another gallery project on the horizon? Are you able to share any information about this?
Yes, we are opening a second location of Francis in LA this coming autumn! I can’t share too many details just yet!
Finally, what are you most looking forward to professionally and personally for the rest of this year.
I can’t wait to open the doors to Francis LA, and to share the new digital home of Cereal – both of which are launching this autumn!