Monica Rohan paints to convey a sense of what it feels like to be overwhelmed. Her female figures are represented floating, falling, tumbling, twisted in greenery or, more often, caught in clothing and other patterned fabric. Increasingly, Rohan’s figures are painted in identical pairs or groupings, as the artist explains:
‘by representing multiple selves, the sense of tension and unreality is heightened and the strange internal battle exaggerated’.
The level of detail rendered in each pattern heightens these oblique, yet evocative, self-portraits. In these spaces, Rohan reveals her delight in the interaction of colour, shape and repetition, but there is also an obsessive edge to the works, and they appear to teeter between states of comfort and anxiety.
Jumble is on view in ‘GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art’ currently at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) until 11 October. The accompanying publication profiles the latest innovations and achievements by some of Queensland’s leading visual artists.