Sunday, 6 January 2013

Roanna Wells

When I find an artist whose work I admire, I really enjoy exploring further. This may be someone a friend has mentioned, a name referred to in a book, or someone's work seen in a gallery or found on Google.

Looking at good work is instructive - and such a pleasure. I've come to the conclusion that those artists I like best seem to produce work with a simple graphic quality, and are able to express an idea without over-embellishment. I just wish I could restrain myself and produce work of such clarity and depth ....

Scattered Five - Roanna Wells
I came across the work of Roanna Wells for the first time in Gwen Hedley's book Drawn to Stitch and then saw her at Art in Action in Oxfordshire, a couple of years ago. Her basic idea is so uncomplicated - just fine black thread on a cream wool ground, the stitches seeded across the surface.

Two years ago, I bought the little piece shown here - Scattered Five - and I look at it everyday. I never tire of it. The patterns seem to represent whatever you wish or nothing in particular at all. Perhaps it represents a high cumulus cloud on a warm summer's day - or maybe a murmuration of starlings over the Somerset Levels .... and maybe it just doesn't matter what you see....

Obama Inauguration, Washington 2009
(Reproduced with permission of the artist)
However, more recently Roanna's work has interpreted the forms within crowds as seen from above on significant occasions in her series Interpersonal Spatial Arrangements. It's such a clever idea and very effective. 

The two pieces here are currently to be seen on Roanna's website (along with several others) and I love them both. I think though that the Obama Inauguration piece is my favourite. The sweeping, arcing shapes are wonderful and the crowds depicted in stitch are beautifully suspended in that moment of expectation that swept the world on his election.

Roanna can be found on her website, www.roannawells.co.uk

I feel sure she is one to watch ......

Drowning Victim, Coney Island Beach,
New York 1952
(Reproduced with permission of the artist)

1 comment:

  1. Rosanna's work is very unique and inspiring in it's simplicity. Thank you for visiting my blog too.

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