Thursday 15 October 2009

Angels Today. Put Death Aside For A Few Hours for a video of me talking about these paintings 8 weeks after Steve died St Barnabas House Hospice is supporting the exhibition. I have set up this page for you to donate whatever you can to this amazing hospice, that concentrates daily on helping people like Steve and me.


So. Angels today then. It slipped my mind that I have another exhibition to prepare for, and that is dreadful. I couldn't run the country if I got bogged down with only one topic at a time. Today, after doing my blogs and eating my breakfast and tidying up and wandering around dreaming and wondering who to phone and chat to, I am concentrating on Angels.

Every Day Angels, to be held in the Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester from the 22 November to the 5 December, is GOOD. I like doing Angels and the Oxmarket is an established gallery. I am only exhibiting in the foyer, which I think is very apt. My little Angels will dot themselves around the foyer and inspire people to Smile and Have A Nice Day. Then they will cross over to the other side of Chichester and go to A Graceful Death exhibition and have to revived with smelling salts. Such is the life of an artist.

I have done a group of Elderly Angels Waiting At A Celestial Bus Stop. I have done a Make Over Angel Diptych, a frumpy Before Angel and the Sassy After Angel. I am going to do more today and really enjoy it. I can play with colours and ideas and be amused as I do them. I will listen to Radio 4, put on the heater in the studio, and feel utterly invincible. Here is a piece about Angels I wrote for the exhibition. Put on your glasses, pour your tea and put on your best fluffy slippers and concentrate -

Every Day Angels

Every Day Angels is just what it says. Angels who live alongside us in our daily lives, with daily lives of their own. The things that we do, they do. This exhibition celebrates the Divine as Normal, and the Normal as Divine. For example I have painted a Make Over Angel. Before her make over, she is dumpy, miserable and unglamorous. Her body language says it all. After her make over, she is dressed in a slinky evening dress, glossy hair up on top of her head and masses of mascara. She is very sexy indeed. And she knows it. Her body language says it all.

There is the tiny wooden block of wood painted with an angel happy in her pink and white spotty apron amongst all her teapots. There is the rather larger framed painting of the Domestic Angel, who is standing rigid in her yellow marigold washing up gloves against a red background, with an expression of utter fury. She has Had Enough. Ask her to wash up one more item and she will hit you.

I love the painting of a group of Elderly Angels waiting at a celestial bus stop, sitting in a row together. I like the idea that there are buses in Heaven and that there is a parallel system up there where old people still queue up in bus shelters in an orderly manner, waiting to go Heaven knows where.

The inspiration for this exhibition comes from my belief that there is no real distance between the Divine and the Mundane. Angels, messengers from Above, are a wonderful and acceptable link from our world (the Mundane) to the Divine (Up There). Even those of us with a reluctance to engage with spiritual and religious matters are seldom affronted by Angels. Angels are too close to fairies and are therefore harmless. But there are those of us who really need and believe in Angels. Angels are the able to hear us, help us and carry our anxious requests to Up There, they are on our side and want to help. Countless stories are told of critical situations saved by a stranger who vanished once the danger had passed. Could these could be Angels? In human form, doing human things and appearing in an hour of need in a manner that is not alarming in order to set things right? My Every Day Angel exhibition is about this wonderful other world of celestial beings that in order to understand us well, experience our joys and sorrows with us. I have painted many Angels with human characteristics only to find that the person that buys it does so because they know someone just like it. Now doesn’t that say a lot.

A final thought which was put to me once – do Angels have belly buttons? Interesting. I will have to paint a picture of a gorgeous Belly Dancing Angel and think it over

Every Day Angels by Antonia Rolls showing at the Oxmarket Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex.
22 November to 5 December.
Going to go and have fun now. See you at the exhibition.

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