Roo Abrook is an artist producing contemporary mixed media collage using her own original drawings and paintings depicting mainly portraits of women and children. Within her work she investigates and poses self-reflecting questions about the subject matter of beauty, youth, and time.
Roo uses original graphite studies often of Edwardian photographic postcards with lens generated imagery of flora and fauna are developed using a combination of traditional and more experimental printing and mark making techniques. Use of pattern, decoration and adornment are introduced into works looking at beautification in its many forms. Roo combines found collaged papers and screen prints with acrylic paints, spray paints, pencils, pens, spray guns, varnishes and finishes.
The composition of her modern portraits portrays an overall feeling of natural strength and beauty mixed with the fragility of the brief and every changing life that all women share.
Femininity from the past has been consciously re-contextualised to provoke thoughts about today's media culture that is obsessed with superficial youth.
BEHIND HER EYESRoo Abrook's most recent collection of artworks
Roo’s work also highlights themes of romanticism and femininity. Her artworks all include female faces which captivate the viewers into seeing the soul through the eyes of women. By including these female figures in her work, Roo aims to challenge the ideology of beauty, what is deemed beautiful by one person, may not be seen as beautiful by another. Femininity from the past has been consciously re-contextualised to provoke thoughts about today's media culture that is obsessed with superficial youth. And with the increasing pressures to look beautiful in society, and for women to meet society’s current beauty demands, it is hard to keep one’s individuality intact. And that is what Roo is trying to remind us, that individuality is beautiful.
"I’m constantly focusing on objects of beauty that are short lived and I am fascinated how we are seduced by decoration and how those tastes have changed throughout time."
Talking of her work, Roo said that she worked in the fashion industry for a while which had given her a sense of coordinating her artwork into mini collections. At the moment, Roo’s most recent work involves using more 50’s magazines as collage with typography, adding depth and layering to her current work. Throw in neon colours and you can see a distinctive change in direction with the women’s faces having a strong, visual look to them.
Chatting about her style you can see that her childhood has played a big part in her passion for collecting old things. As a young girl always pottering around auction rooms, finding interesting old things it then developed into being an adult and wandering around car boots and antique shops to find the perfect art materials.
Behind Her EyesA Solo Show by Roo Abrook Now Showing At Our Shenfield Gallery 25 September - 23 October 2021
Roo’s work is heavily inspired by her teenage years where she was obsessed with magazines, such as, ID and punk/new wave publications. By recycling old magazines to use as the framework of all her pieces she has developed some distinctive techniques, Roo creates layers with music paper and past graphite drawings, then screen prints onto tissue paper and adds final touches with neon spray paint, varnish and hand-painting with acrylic paints and touches of gold leaf. As explained in her own words:
“I use Antique book pages within my work, unwanted with little value that I feel have a beauty and combine these with contemporary materials such as screen prints, digital prints, photocopies (that’s retro now) and neon spray paints to play with timelines. I am continually developing these timelines by investigating beauty, time, youth and ageing.”
There is an individual and creative use of many mediums which all come together to create her lovely pieces. Roo’s work and concepts showcase her rare creative depth, which makes her work so unique and collectable. Her style and vison appeal to a very interesting audience, attracting buyers from all over the world to generate a global demand for Roo’s art pieces.
In The Studio
Roo studied fine art, first at college, then at university, whilst also adding metal and ceramics courses to her studies. Roo had a very creative start, working in the fashion industry, owning her own fashion label in the 90s and then working in graphic design. Roo has always lived and breathed in creative fields of work. What I find exciting about her is that she has adapted and used her experience in all these fields in her art. Working in an organic way, Roo follows her feelings. She likes to work on collections and sometimes then go back and revisit the work she has done in the past.
Exhibitions, Shows and Events
‘Behind Her Eyes,’ A Solo Show at Turner Art Perspective gallery, Essex, 2021
Preview Group Show, Art Salon, Bath, May 2020
New York Affordable Art Show, March 2020
'Reflections’ Solo show at Hounds of Southsea, November 2019
‘Semi Skimmed' Group Show, Waluso Gallery, Hoxton, London, November 2019
‘Staggeringly Good’ Group Show at Play Dead Gallery, Southsea, August 2019
Cheltenham Paint Festival, September 2019
'Making Magic - Street Art and Paste-Up Workshop at The Apsex Gallery, Portsmouth 2019
The Cursed City project - Gallery Show, Cascades, Portsmouth, 2019
The Cursed City project - multi platform: street paste ups, online and social media, performances, 2019
Hong Kong Affordable Art Fair 2019
London Battersea Affordable Art Fair 2019
Cheltenham Fresh Art Fair 2019
Ascot Fresh Art Fair 2019
Art Salon Gallery Group Show April 2019
Edinburgh Art Fair 18
' Face 2 Face’ Solo Show, Hounds, November 2018
Singapore Affordable Art Fair 2018
Hong Kong Affordable Art Fair 2018
London Hampstead Affordable Art Fair 2018
Fresh Art Fair 2018
London Battersea Affordable Art Fair 2018
'In your Face’ Solo Show, Hounds, November 2017
Hong Kong Affordable Art Fair 2017
London Hampstead Affordable Art Fair 2017
London Battersea Affordable Art Fair 2017
Art Salon Gallery Group Shows, Bath - Spring/Summer 2018, Autumn/Winter 2017, Spring/Summer 2017, Autumn/Winter 2016,
Atelier Gallery, Castle Rd, Portsmouth, 4 group shows Summer 2016
BEHIND HER EYES
A Solo Show By Roo Abrook