My concept of 'Painted Space' is inspired by the most liberating of all art movements. An art movement that places a high value of civilisation on the ability of art to liberate the imagination. When Andre Breton described his ‘surrealism’ as ‘beyond space and time’ he appeared to offer only a conundrum. Yet his desire for an art of continuous contradiction teases out a space in the imagination where time can be spent reflecting and responding to adventures in the unknown.
Closed space, filled space, empty space, open space, space the final frontier. Spaces in which the imagination can shape, colour, decorate, fill, or transcend physical limits. The material literal space of chairs cars tv sofas flats houses planes is abandoned and replaced by the power of the mind guided by the eye.
Abstract paintings encourage individual feelings of thrill, excitement, and delight. They offer new ideas about dimensions of space, transcend the initial first look, reach out to a sensitised appreciation of the world. Drawing through colour and form, sensations of harmony and balance, each new space renews a visual fingertip sensitivity adding much more to life.
My exhibition ‘Painted Space’ shared Breton’s aim for ‘adventures in the unknown’, a refreshing challenge.
Concepts: I am a painter based in Scotland, my work ranges from large scale abstract colourfield painting to smaller figurative work. "Rowena unleashes a powerful emotional force in a positive life enhancing aesthetic. An aesthetic in painting that is informed by vibrating colour relationships and formal balancing. The tension between colours and shapes offers to the viewer both an immediate spontaneous response and considered intellectual reflection. Rowena was trained in abstract art by Mali Morris, Clyde Hopkins and, although at the end of his teaching career, Terry Frost in the Art Department of Reading University, graduating in 1982. Although she left Art School fully immersed in the aesthetic of abstract art, she has diversified and developed the best qualities of abstract painting into figurative and landscape painting ". (Aspect Prize Catalogue) A body of figurative work of contemporary history painting concerned with depicting aesthetically the use of civilian aircraft as potential weapons of terror has been shown recently at the Meffan Museum in Forfar, Scotland. The horror of the 9/11 hijacks and crashing of civilian passenger aircraft into the twin towers in New York made me realise the contemporary meaning of the sublime in art. The sublime is an 18th century idea but I don't use it to paint 18th century subjects. As an idea it is concerned with the use of art as a way of realising the human emotions of immense joy, fear and terror. However it is not my paintings role to act as an illustration of contemporary events but instead to comment critically by summarising and symbolising into, I hope a witty visualisation of terror. Influences Gender; human physical predicament, colour field, the sea Career path From 1978 to 1982 I studied Fine Art at the University of Reading. For 20 years I lived and worked as an artist in Aberdeen before moving to Glasgow in 2010, exhibiting widely throughout Britain. My work is held in many public and private collections. In 1999 I was awarded an AVAAS grant for a project based around Hogarth's ' Rake's Progress', which involved learning new techniques using digital technology. In 2002 I gave a lecture on this project at the John Soane's Museum in London. For two years I was secretary for the Aberdeen artist's collective, Limousine Bull. During this time we published a book, curated a number of exhibitions and launched a website. For ten years I acted as the tenant's representative for the WASPS studio building in Aberdeen. At various times I have taught Art at Aberdeen University and Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen. In 2005 I was awarded a further AVAAS award for work investigating piratical activity in the NE of Scotland during the 17thC and reinterpreting this in a contemporary critical manner resulting in a collaborative show at Duff House, Banff. In a voluntary capacity, from 2011 - 2014 I was privilged to take on the role of President of the Scottish Artists Union, the representative voice for artists in Scotland, and I have continued as Treasurer. Currently I serve on the Council of the Society of Scottish Artists and the Council of Paisley Art Institute. I work from a WASPS studio in Glasgow's Barrowlands, a member of the thriving group of Gallowgate Artists.
CV & Education
2017 Summer Show KUNSTHUIS Gallery, North Yorkshire
2016 Elected Council Member for Society of Scottish Artists
2016 Awarded the Paisley 2021 Bid Team Award, at PAI Show
2016 Published in 'The Healing Art of Pathology' College of American Pathologists
2015 Shortlisted for Shoosmiths Prize, Milton Keynes.
2015 Received Jamieson Award from Paisley Art Insititute.
2013 Interview by Jan Patience in the Herald ART supplement, 17 Aug 2013.
2013 Radio Interview on WFIU Indiana Public Media.
2013 Residency in Bloomington, Indiana USA.
2014 - 2017 Treasurer for Scottish Artists Union
2011-14 President of Scottish Artists Union.
2013 Master Classes at House for an Art Lover, Glasgow.
2012 Professional Development Funding Award from Creative Scotland.
2011 Hope Scott Trust Award.
2010 Elected Professional Member of Society of Scottish Artists
2010 Short listed for Aspect Prize, and Relocated to Glasgow from Aberdeen.
2009 BBC TV Jonathon Meades: Off Kilter Titles Art Work.
2009 & 10 Aberdeenshire Council, Aliens on the Beach, workshops.
2009 V&A Museum London & Action for Children, Art Matters workshops.
2009 Visiting Artist, Alford Primary School, Aberdeenshire
2009 & 10 Guest Lecturer ATLAC, University of Aberdeen, Faculty of Education.
2008 Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, Fraserburgh Show Scotland workshop.
2008 Easter workshops for 11 – 17 yr olds for Aberdeenshire Council.
2007 Scottish Arts Council Arts Across the Curriculum, Schools project .
2006 RSA Edinburgh Artist’s talk about work in Scottish Collectives.
2000 & 2005 AVAAS Awards.
2002 John Soane’s Museum, gave lecture on Rake’s Progress project.
2000-2002 Secretary for Limousine Bull, Artists Collective, Aberdeen.
2000-2005 Life Drawing Tutor at Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen.
1998-1999 Art Tutor, Centre for Continuing Education, University of Aberdeen.
1997-2015 Studio Tenants Representative, for W.A.S.P.S. (Artists Studios).
1997-2001 Evening Class Art Tutor, Aberdeen City Council.
1997 Short listed for St Columba commission for Iona Abbey Trust
1989 Traveled in Spain studying art, and then painted full-time in Scotland.
1985-1988 Employed at at Courtauld Institute, and Hambros Merchant Bank.
1982 Studio in Earls Court, London, Life model at Slade School of Art.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2016 Painted Space, Rendezvous Gallery Aberdeen
2015 The Liberty of the Individual: Beyond Space and Time, New Hall, Cambridge
2014 SKY DIVING FROM THE CLOUDS EDGE, Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen.
2013 Bloomington Residency, Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Centre, USA, Indiana
2013 TINY DIAMONDS IN THE COSMIC SANDS, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
2011 CLOSE HAUL, Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen
2011 POST MODERN SUBLIME, Tolbooth Art Centre, Kirkcudbright
2011 SPRING LINE, Hughson Gallery, Glasgow
2011 TERRAPLANES, The Arches, Glasgow
2010 SUBLIME ELEVATIONS, Meffan Museum, Forfar
2007 SUMBLIME INTENTION, Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen
2001 LIFE'S A FUN BEACH, Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Aberdeen
2000 A MILLION FIRSTS, A TRILLION SECONDS, Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries
1998 AESTHETIC - A DEFIANCE, Aberdeen City Art Gallery
1996 JOURNEY, (New Scottish Art), DeMarco European Foundation, Edinburgh
Selected Group Exhibitions
2016 RSW Open at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2016 Identity Through Landscape, House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
2015 Group 13 at the Smithy Gallery, Blanefield, Glasgow.
2015 EMPIRE @ The Old Rope Works,
2014 Winter Delights Tatha Gallery, Newport-on-Tay, Fife
2014 One of One Gallery, Teddington, London
2014 Editions Gallery, Indianapolis USA.
2014 Towards Abstraction, Stables Gallery, Orleans House Gallery,Twickenham
2013 Society of Scottish Artists, Royal Scottish Academy Edinburgh.
2013 Royal Glasgow Institute Annual Exhibition, Glasgow
2011 Parallax Art Fair, La Galleria, Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall London
2011 Le SM’art Art Fair, Aix-en-Provence France
2011 Aspect Prize Exhibition, Fleming Gallery, 13 Berkeley St London W1J 8DU
2010 'Salon', The Embassy, Roxburgh St. Edinburgh
2009 'Place, Identity, Memory' Artist Made Books, Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries
2009 ' Impressions of Catterline 2', Montrose Museum, Montrose
2009 - Nairn Open Art Exhibition, Court House, Nairn
2006 - Scottish Collective, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2005 - First Scottish Art Show, Royal Scottish Corporation, London
2005 - No Prey - No Pay, Duff House Country Gallery, Banff, Scotland
2005 - Painting is a Condradiction - Maybe, Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh
2004 - Open Print Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
2000 - Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London
2000 - Print Open, DCA, Dundee
2000 - Today is Enough, Moma, Powys, Wales
1999 - Terre De Creation, Espace Municipal, Clermont Ferrand, France
1997 - "Art", Temporary, Self Run Gallery, , 446 Union Street, Aberdeen, Aberdeen
1997 - Brush, Wood and Taffeta - Exploring the North, Marischal Museum, Aberdeen
1996 - Landscape, Seascape, Cityscape, Still-life, touring Edinburgh Hospitals, Artlink,
1996 - New Acquisitions, Aberdeen Art Gallery
1995 - Uisge Beatha, Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde,Glasgow Curated projects