Rosannagh Scarlet Esson – Alchemy at Zuleika Gallery


12 April 2021

17 May 2021
Zuleika Gallery, Woodstock
6 Park Street
OX20 1SP

Rosannagh Scarlet Esson - Alchemy - Copper I, 2020, Copper paint, soot, salt and rainwater on canvas,100 x 100 cm
Left (Top), Alchemy – Copper I, 2020, Copper paint, soot, salt and rainwater on canvas,100 x 100 cm
Right (Bottom), After The Flood I, 2020 ink, acrylic and salt on flooded canvas 100 x 150 cm.
Images courtesy of The Artist and Zuleika Gallery.

About Rosannagh Scarlet Esson – Alchemy.

Rosannagh Scarlet Esson – Alchemy is a solo exhibition at Zuleika Gallery, Woodstock from 12 April to 17 May 2021.

Zuleika Gallery is delighted to present Alchemy an inaugural solo exhibition of abstract paintings by Oxford-based artist, Rosannagh Scarlet Esson. Alchemy brings together Rosannagh’s dynamic explorations into the chemistry of paint, metals, pigment and the elements, including brand new works produced at her studio in the past year in lockdown.

Presented at Zuleika Gallery in Woodstock, this exhibition celebrates the re-opening of the gallery to the public after lockdown, from 12 April 2021.

Rosannagh Scarlet Esson works primarily in large-scale mixed media paintings on canvas. Her practice is inspired by the evolving aesthetics and symbolism of the natural world, particularly through the lens of Ecological Succession. Rosannagh explores the alchemy of painting by abstracting colour and form through exposure to elemental forces.

Fire, ice, rain and time demonstrate how creation and destruction combine to shape the world around us. Rosannagh’s alchemical paintings explore the untameable, transformative effects of the elements, flora and fauna, pairing unconventional materials and processes to explore the duality of growth and decay.

Rosannagh’s process moves fluidly between creation and destruction, expressionism and precision. Elemental forces play active roles, and marks and textures are built up organically and without preconception. Paint or pigment is layered in expressive splashes, daubs and washes, with marks either scorched, scratched or ground into the surface of the canvas, in a process as tempestuous as the raw materials used.

The resulting interactions, both material and symbolic, are in themselves a transformation – a kind of alchemy.

“My painting practice comes from a deep and profound love and respect for wild, elemental places. They invoke a primal sense of freedom and belonging that forever calls me to the forest; to the mountains; to the sea. It’s that untameable, indomitable quality that I find so intoxicating. The wildness of it all.

“Even in man-made environments, my eye is often drawn to the lichen on crumbling walls, or grasses erupting through concrete – any sign of nature punching its way through that thin veneer of civilisation. These little rebellions are far more beautiful to me than any polished surface or clean, white space.” —Rosannagh Scarlet Esson

About Rosannagh

Rosannagh Scarlett Esson graduated from Oxford Brookes in 2016 with First Class Honours in Fine Art and was awarded the Fine Art Dissertation Prize for the best critical submission in the year. Based at her studio in Oxfordshire, Rosannagh’s work explores the alchemy of painting by abstracting colour and form through exposure to elemental forces.

Symbolic and unconventional materials are mixed in experimental ways that work with, rather than against, the transformative effects of fire, rain, ice, time or gravity to reflect the untameable nature of the elements and the duality of creation and destruction. The themes explored include wildness, rewilding, ecological succession and alchemical symbolism. Since graduating, Rosannagh has exhibited in the UK and Europe and has her work in several private collections across the UK.