Rossana waits 57 years for exhibition

One of Rossana Kendall's paintings.

One of Rossana Kendall's paintings.

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More than half a century after she was given her first set of oil paints, Rossana Kendall launches an exhibition in Chichester on the back of her studies.

“I have waited 57 years to do this degree and to do oil painting all the time,” says Rossana who is offering a collection of paintings and prints at the Oxmarket Centre of Arts (until December 23).

Rossana lives in Kent, but Chichester is a place with long resonance for her, and she was delighted to discover the opportunities the Oxmarket offers.

“My mother gave me my first set of oil paints when I was seven, and I can still remember the little vase and candlestick which were the subject of my first painting. It was a shock that the painting did not exactly replicate what was there in front of me, as I had intended.

“Over half a century later, on retiring, I started a fine arts degree and am now doing the fourth of six years at The University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury. We are expected to be up to date with contemporary art, so it’s an eye-opener and great fun. It’s exciting to experiment with doing completely new things, with new ways of doing old things and new tools to do them with.

“The prints and the paintings in this exhibition are a product of the learning and experimentation.

“Still, I’m a romantic, and believe in the importance of nature and of beauty. It seems to me that a good piece of art can make the rest of the world seem more alive, like 3D specs that bring everything to life and to colour. It can depict the world of ideal forms from which everyday reality is made.

“Many of these works are to do with nature, and a nature that is luminous, almost alive, just as Wordsworth felt it to be, so that natural scenes chimed with some of his deepest thoughts and emotions. Sometimes a landscape seems almost to be speaking. The challenge is to get that across through shape and colour in a way that is true to what nature and landscape mean to me.”