Welcome to the website of Ian Rolls. Ian is a full time artist who is well known in Jersey in the Channel Islands, where he has been based for most of his life.
Despite his Jersey roots he has spent prolonged periods living and working in India & Sri Lanka, cultures which have deeply affected his life, and two productive and delightful years in Devon in the south west of England.
Ian has travelled widely, an important source of inspiration for him and has shown his work in solo or group exhibitions in India, Sri Lanka, Germany, France, England and regularly in Jersey. Wherever he is in the world, the images he produces are characteristically distorted, playful and uplifting.
Ian draws with his left hand, although naturally right handed. But far from unnatural, this way of drawing produces a spontaneity and freedom of line that feels good and is as much related to the subconscious as the conscious. Ian has practised meditation for many years and this has directly influenced his way of working. This wayward left-handed drawing technique, where the composition is fixed as much by intuition as by design, is in contrast to his method of right-handed painting, which is a more controlled process, but never at the expense of the medium’s inherent qualities or the artist’s love of bright colour.
Ian’s pictures are quiet struggles to create order out of a self-imposed chaos. The frenetic but mindful left-handed drawing sets the distorted structure of the composition and the right-handed painting responds with a slow, methodical sorting out process. The combination of two quite different ways of working within each picture, using both hands and both sides of the brain, makes Ian’s work a very personal and quirky version of reality.
Ian is an experienced watercolourist, although he frequently makes series of paintings in other media and occasionally pictures on or constructions from less conventional materials… found beach plastic, driftwood, recycled or burnt timber, used-out surf boards, skateboards and discarded electricals. In 2014, Ian collaborated with fellow artist Kerry-Jane Warner on a series of 12 “art in the environment” projects, one for each month and one for each Island parish, using natural materials in response to the beautiful landscape of Jersey (see news page archive).
Ian’s uniquely wayward and quirky creations are in collections worldwide.
Apart from nine well oiled Jersey doors on the homepage, this website presents news of forthcoming exhibitions and events, biographical info, short films about selected archive exhibitions and projects and a gallery where original paintings available for sale can be viewed. There is also a shop where a wide range of limited edition prints can be bought online via the Pitt Stream Gallery website. (See below for more about the Pitt Stream Gallery). If you are considering commissioning a work, there are guide prices and details of the process, which is probably simpler and much less scary than you think! There is also a page which features hand finished framing, exclusive to Ian’s work, and of course contact details.
Hope you enjoy what you see!
The image below is “Song of the Sea”, Ian’s home & studio amongst the rocks at Corbière in the west of the island.
Ian & his wife Ruth have recently opened a small gallery in the heart of St Helier which will showcase Ian’s work. Ruth’s ceramics will also be on display and she will have her ceramics studio on site. The gallery is part of a group of historic town cottages which have been restored by the National Trust for Jersey.