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All Bound Together - Small Works by Raemon Rolfe

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All Bound Together - Small Works by Raemon Rolfe

All Bound Together - Small Works by Raemon Rolfe

A 'Cash and Carry' Exhibition

Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts is honoured once again to present the work of Manawatu-based artist Raemon Rolfe, formerly HOD Art at Palmerston North Girls High School. All Bound Together is a slight departure from the glazed paintings and encaustic works that the artist has shown at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts over the past 20 years. Rolfe states: “The exhibition will consist of approximately 35 (130mm x 180mm) composite works mounted on 300gsm watercolour paper of which encaustic is the main medium but they also may include shellac, metals, sand, letterpress and collage elements often sourced from Powell, Native Animals of New Zealand (The Auckland Museum, first published in 1947), a much-loved little book I have had since childhood.” Five slightly larger works are in oil, pigments, cold wax, sand, marble dust, metal patinas, letterpress, and are on oil paper mounted on 300gsm watercolour paper. The artist continues: “An on-going theme for me is our connectedness with the rocks, water, air and time. Inspiration came from a re-reading of Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez, 1941.” Quoting from Steinbeck:

“…all things are one thing and that one thing is all things – plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again.”

Richard Feynman’s poem, I Stand at the Sea was a source of ideas for the works shown in Rolfe’s 2018 show and the verse which follows inspired her new output.

            Deep in the sea all molecules repeat the patterns

            Of one another till complex new ones are formed.

            They make others like themselves

            And a new dance starts.


Raemon writes: “Further inspiration came from Nick Lane’s book The Vital Question: Why is Life the Way it is, 2015. His hypothesis provides an insight into the very beginning of life billions of years ago and why cells have become so complex. He asks ‘Why, when the universal trend is towards chaos, does life resist decay?’ According to Lane: Rock, water and CO2 are the shopping list for life and that the perfect conditions for life occurred deep in the sea in alkaline hydrothermal vents formed when sea water percolated down into the mantel rocks and reacted with olivine before bubbling back up again and forming large, warm, porous vents on the sea floor.”

Encaustic is the main medium used in these composite works.  Encaustic paint comes down to us from Ancient Greece and may be the earliest form of easel painting.  It is made by melting beeswax with dammar resin and adding pigment.  The molten paint is applied quickly to the substrate and each layer is fused with a heat gun.  In these works the artist has applied other materials to the surface, such as graphite and gold dust and then applied shellac and burnt it with a blowtorch to create texture.  The resulting surfaces are protected with a special encaustic sealer.

Artist Raemon Rolfe has been drawing and painting for over 60 years; exhibiting work for over 4 decades and teaching art for twenty-five years. Her art practice includes a wide range of disciplines incorporating painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, digital art and art history which she says: “…have given me a versatility of form and medium, and my studies in geography, the sciences and philosophy are a continuing source of ideas.”

All Bound Together opens on Friday 26th April from 5-7PM.  The public is cordially invited to meet the artist and view and purchase work from the exhibition.  All Bound Together: Small Works by Raemon Rolfe will continue through 21st May 2019.

This is a ‘Cash and Carry’ Exhibition. Purchasers of an art work or works can take them home after purchase.

Stuart Schwartz can be reached at 06 355 4278 or via email at

The public is always invited to view special exhibitions and other artworks held at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts, 33 George Street, Palmerston North during gallery hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 to 5; Friday 10 to 6; and Saturday, 10 to 3. The Gallery is closed statutory holidays except for special events.

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WOMAD New Zealand 2020 pre-sale tickets are now available. Limited numbers so don't delay

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