Artwork Detail

Paramount Award Winner, 2006 Wallace Art Awards.

Rohan Wealleans addresses the nature of paint itself, pushing the boundaries between painting and sculpture. Innumerable layers of paint are built up into bulbous shapes or layered on to a flat surface to be sliced into or peeled away, exposing the multicoloured marbled patterns of strata beneath the top skin. With the employment of startlingly lurid colour combinations and ambiguous form, Wealleans’ works appear alien in origin. Indeed, Wealleans refers to himself as a ‘sci-fi geologist’. He has explained that ‘these layers have been excavated so the underpainting can be glimpsed like geological strata. It is a world in itself made up of layers of culture and history with only a few places that are deep mysterious holes yet to be explored.’

Wealleans won the Waikato National Contemporary Art Award in 2003, the year he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Art. His work is present in collections including the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the Auckland Art Gallery. In 2005 he won the Waikato Art Award and was selected as the Frances Hodgkins Fellow, and in 2007 he was selected for inclusion in the national survey show Prospect at Wellington’s City Gallery. The McCahon House Artist-in-Residence March – June 2008, Wealleans was chosen to participate in the 17th Biennale of Sydney in 2010. Wealleans spent three months in Taiwan in 2011 at the Taipei Artist Village as the Asia: New Zealand Arts Resident.

Since winning the Wallace Art Awards in 2006, Wealleans has returned as a judge in 2007 and 2009. The James Wallace Arts Trust holds several of Wealleans’ works, including the giant sculpture Planet Spore created for the 2004 Scape Biennial in Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens, Command Chair 2 (2008) and the enormous Blood Crystal Catcher (2008) a giant hanging sculpture which takes the form of a Native American dream catcher.

Catalogue text:
Published on the occasion of the Twenty Wallace Art Awards Paramount Winners Exhibition,14 February to 22 April 2012 at The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre and 2 August to 30 September 2012 at the Wallace Gallery Morrinsville.
Paint, fibreglass and steel
2565 x 2000 x 2000 mm
Not signed or dated
Accession date
15 Feb 2007
Accession number

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