Full time Jersey artist Ian Rolls is hosting a solo show of new paintings at the iconic White House in the middle of St Ouen’s Bay. The exhibition is being held as part of the Skipton Open Studio series.  

All of the paintings in the exhibition are on driftwood panels, found washed up on beaches and rocks around the island. Creating artwork from found objects is nothing new for Ian, but the way he has made this series of paintings is something different for him and has resulted in a more abstract approach.

For many years, Ian has drawn with his left hand, despite being naturally right handed. This he has done because it disengages the left, controlling side of the brain and it makes him look more carefully at the subject of the drawing. The loss of control that goes with this technique, brings with it a special quality of line that is more personal and more expressive. It taps into the spontaneous, intuitive right side of the brain and performs a function that has a lot in common with meditation.

For the series of pictures in the “drift” exhibition, Ian takes this reduced control drawing technique to a new level. Ian discovered that when he made a drawing without looking at the line being made, the quality of the line is further enhanced. It takes on a life of its own. So the drawings are made directly onto the driftwood panels, on location in the landscape, but looking only at the subject and not at the drawing. The line is a response to the visual stimulus but it has more freedom to roam.

The colour is applied back in his studio, sometimes bright or muted but carefully chosen from memory or imagination. Only the areas between the lines are painted, leaving the drawn charcoal lines as sacred and untouched.

Ian explained “the paintings are a very personal response to the island’s coastline that have all been painted specifically for this exhibition. The driftwood panels themselves have been on a random journey by land and sea and chance (or fate) has resulted in their transformation into works of art in the exhibition.”


La Caumine à Marie Best (the White House),

St Ouen’s Bay, 25 – 29 June 2016