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ARTIST PROFILE: ROSLYN NOLEN
Western Australian Artist Roslyn Nolen Announces Solo Exhibition: Homage To The Horse (27 January – 2 February 2017)
Acclaimed Western Australian Artist Roslyn Nolen announces her latest solo exhibition ‘Homage To The Horse’ to be held at Gallows Gallery, Mosman Park in Perth from 27 January to 2 February 2017. The wild horse dominates this forum and the expressive work depicts the noble animal in its truest form.
This exquisite and accomplished collection of 29 works explores the anatomy of the horse in interesting compositions and technical acquisition in a way that will appeal to those in and beyond the equine world.
Growing up surrounded by horses, it wasn’t until adulthood that artist Nolen fully came to realise and appreciate the majestic beauty and soulful intelligence of these creatures.
Both Nolen’s parents came from a lineage of country people, the family had horses and Roslyn’s father was a horse trainer. Nolen reflects that as a child she was never a confident rider and it wasn’t until her nephew, jockey Luke Nolen was given the opportunity of a lifetime to ride Black Caviar that reignited a connection to her past. Painting Luke on Black Caviar sparked a deeply reflective experience, as a result horses now dominate Roslyn’s work.
In preparation for the ‘Homage To The Horse’ exhibition Nolen travelled to the remote outback of the Northern Territory to observe, sketch and capture photo references of the most elusive of horses; the wild brumbies. A tremendous and perilous experience, it’s one that the artist says will stay with her forever – in the vast, isolated, empty and sometimes haunting landscapes of the remote Pine Creek region.
Not a place for the faint hearted, the artist endured extreme heat, crawling insects and country unknown. Dangerous encounters with scrub bulls added to the sense of adventure whilst she searched for the elusive brumbies. Each day of her search across this expansive almost hostile country, Nolen had the pleasure of observing these wild horses which she skilfully depicts in this latest work.
“Observing a stallion, so watchful and asserting protective authority over his band of horses is powerful and humbling. These brumbies have had little, if any, human contact.” Nolen explains.
Nolen also collaborated with photographer Katie Mendle of Calico Pony and Mae Lee Sun, journalist and wild horse activist, drawing on their photography as reference material for ‘Homage To The Horse’, bringing more depth and variation to this exquisite collection. Using a range of materials including acrylic, biro, ink, graphite and charcoal, Nolen’s exhibition is a must see.
‘Homage To The Horse’ by Roslyn Nolen
Gallows Gallery, 53 Glyde Street, Mosman Park Perth, Western Australia
Friday 27 January – Thursday 2 February 2017
I had the pleasure of working at East Hamersley Primary School with every student in the school (Kindergarden through to Yr. 6). The theme for the brief included the school’s vision of “To inspire a culture of excellence in all that we do” written across the back wall with the values scattered around the 3 walls. The values which were included were:-
Every student had the opportunity to create a drawing, they were then collated and I designed a composition to reflect the brief from the students own drawings. Each student contributed in producing the finished Mural. A truly wonderful experience had by all.
From “Globe Trotting” Published April 2016
Despite spending her early years surrounded by horses, Roslyn Nolen never really embraced the experience of riding, her fear getting the better of her. It wasn’t until her nephew, Luke Nolen, was given the opportunity to ride Black Caviar that she rekindled her connection with horses and began to paint them. In her Equine series, Roslyn effortlessly captures the majestic beauty and mystery of the equestrian world.
What is your earliest (childhood) memory of horses?
I remember following my father around the stables and being conscious of not getting too close to the horses. My father was a horse trainer who constantly had young horses in his care and he was ever vigilant in not letting us near them. Early mornings were always enjoyable, smelling the molasses and anticipating the mixed feeling of awe and fear around the horses.
What does riding or being with horses mean to you?
As a young girl I was a fearful rider and never really embraced the experience of riding. As an adult, spending time with horses conjures a very different response. I now have a different reality and connect in a more engaged manner. I see them as soulful, protective and ever powerful.
What have horses taught you the most?
Horses have taught me that they understand so much more than the naked eye sees. They are incredibly insightful, respectful and perceptive.
How did the “Brumby Series” come about?
I spent three years in the Tanami desert and there were bands of wild brumbies out there, majestic and beautiful. Years later, a girlfriend suggested I look at Nick Leary’s brumby series. I instantly fell in love with them and ended up collaborating with Nick in my last Solo Exhibition titled “Brumbies and Other Breeds”. He generously allowed me access to some of his imagery.
Recently I took a trip to outback Northern Territory, Australia, purely to photograph and observe the behaviour of wild brumbies. It was a cathartic experience and one that will stay with me forever. Observing a stallion, so watchful and asserting protective authority over his band of horses is powerful. These brumbies have had little, if any, human contact so to see them in their truest form was extraordinary. I was fortunate to share this experience with Journalist and brumby activist, Mae Lee Sun.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
My initial response would have to be the heat, but my most memorable one was being chased by a scrub bull. They are enormous, threatening and powerful and not easy to evade in this vast country with little access to protection. The horses anticipated the noise of the open jeep and ran from it, the scrub bulls ran towards us.
What was the most rewarding part of this project?
Knowing that I experienced something so intensely beautiful and that I can share it in my upcoming Solo Exhibition through my art, written language and song.
What painting in your collection are you most proud of? I would love to hear the story behind this image and why you love it so much?
This is a difficult question to answer but I would have to say “Trooper” (painting featured below).
Trooper was on the way to the knackery and it was fortunate that Mae Lee Sun rescued him. He now lives with a herd of domestic horses. He is adored by all who know his story. I love that his image adorns the wall of an appreciative family. He was given a second chance and he has touched so many lives as a result.
I depicted Trooper, using a ball point pen, which took many hours and it is incredibly gratifying when you step back and see it in its completion. The challenge with ball point pen is that there is no room for error. Once an incorrect mark is made, you either have to incorporate it or start again.
I love this painting because Trooper is looking at the viewer up close and straight on. It shows his power, strength and sense of belonging.
What is it about equines that you love painting?
I love engaging the viewer to get a real sense of each individual horse. Apart from the personality of the horse, I have such an appreciation of the muscle structure, shape, form and anatomy. Exploring the many variants in composition and depicting the beauty – which is so eminent in these ever powerful creatures – inevitably brings a great sense of connection.
How would you describe your painting style?
Contemporary in application and composition.
What medium do you use?
Generally mixed medium (acrylic paint, ink, charcoal, graphite and conte), printmaking – dry point and copperplate etchings, ball point pen and this year I am going to explore charcoal again. In my late twenties I used the medium extensively with my portrait paintings and would like to explore the use in my equine work. I enjoy using various mediums, with the inclusion of textiles. My clothing line comes under my tOZZLEY Label and my equine images are screen-printed onto t-shirts.
To view more of Roslyn Nolen’s paintings, click here.
Artist in Residence working with students at East Hamersley Primary School on a 28 metre mural. Great times. Xx
The murals, which had input from the entire school community, represent the |vision and values of the school.
Mrs Nolen worked with students from Kindergarten to Year 6 on sketches that included local flora and fauna.
The sketches were drawn on the walls and students had the opportunity to paint sections of the murals.
East Hamersley Primary School principal Lyn Dawson said the murals have been well received.
“It has created a lot of interest in the school undercover area with students, parents and the wider community,” Ms Dawson said.
“The school’s vision and values will be forever showcased at future assemblies and community events.
“Special thanks to Frank and his team from Bunnings Balcatta for their wonderful donation of paint and help with the painting.”
Artist Open Studios at Summerset Arts Festival
Hi All, I am involved among others Julie Silvester, Linda O’Brien, Maryann Devereaux and Geoff Devereaux in the Artist Open Studios as part of this year’s Summerset Arts Festival. Refer to below link for further details.
We open our studios for you to have a greater understanding and connection to how we work and create in our individual spaces. I hope you can join us all. (Sunday 24th & Sunday 31 January/ 10am-4pm).
The following was published at Scoop Lifestyle and Travel
Showcasing the best of Western Australian Events
Local Stirling artists Geoff Devereux, Julie Silvester, Linda O’Brien, Maryann Devereux and Roslyn Nolen invite you to discover their homes and studios, as part of the Summerset Arts Festival.
And similar to the Artist Open Studio at Summerset.