Ornamentation and Abstraction by Rozana Lee

Ornamentation and Abstraction

Rozana Lee

25 July to 06 August 2017

This exhibition offers a conversation about visuality, ornamentation, and abstraction. It traces the relevance of ornament to abstraction instead of setting them at odds. The collaged fabrics in the paintings serve as the artist’s composition as well as bearer of the ornamental patterns connecting us to the world, evoking a sense of place.  

The word ‘ornament’ comes from the Latin ornamentum, meaning ‘decoration.’ Often regarded as pure decoration, ornament often carries symbolic, philosophical or mystical significance to certain cultures. Pioneers of abstraction such as Matisse, Kandinsky, and Mondrian drew inspiration from the patterns or the surface structure of ornamentation.

Ornament is also thought to give places a ’name’ as described in German wordOrt, which defines a specific place or location. Considering the speed of globalisation and the increasing mobility that are giving rise to a growing feeling of dislocation, places become increasingly arbitrary. The longing also grows for places to be identified and named.

Rozana Lee holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree from Auckland University of Technology (AUT). She is currently completing her Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts (PGDipFA) at Elam School of Fine Arts. Lee is a finalist in a number of New Zealand art awards; Molly Morpeth Canaday Award: Painting & Drawing (2017, 2015), Parkin Prize Drawing Award (2016), and Walker & Hall Waiheke Art Award (2016). She recently completed an artist residency at Instinc Gallery, Singapore where she mounted a successful exhibition of a great body of new work.  Lee exhibits regularly in New Zealand. Her works are held in private collections overseas and in New Zealand including the Wallace Arts Trust.


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