Monica Rohan

Monica Rohan

In Monica Rohan's artworks, floating transcendence and fixed realism are just as important. Inspired by rural pastoral in southeastern Queensland and her admiration of 19th-century novels, Rohan looks back on her autobiographical genre through a mysterious self-depiction.

Rohan drives her imagination and portrays her various emotional roles and physical characters. Her feminine motif uses space as an impressive medium for painting, putting herself in an adventurous environment: floating, falling, climbing, laying, and hunting endlessly. Or hiding.

Rohan's sensitivity is evident in her carefully constructed work, which reveals her love for patterns, lights and colours. The colours maintain a clear quality, and the decorative possibilities of textiles and lush foliage serve as an off-the-shelf symbol of the bright world.

Monica Rohan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art with Honours from Queensland College of Art in 2011. She has since exhibited in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. In 2016, Rohan was selected as a finalist in the prestigious Archibald Prize in her first attempt.

Her work is held in private and public collections in Australia, including Artbank, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, the University of Queensland Art Museum, Mater Children’s Hospital and the Griffith University Collection.


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14/06/2022 – 02/07/2022

BACKDROPS

The dream-like universe which Monica Rohan builds in her exhibition Backdrops is set against blue skies and Australian gum-trees. Brightly patterned fabrics billow poetically in the wind, but among them hands and feet often reveal themselves to be floating or untethered. Evoking a more familiar reality, a few paintings in the exhibition depict moments like curling up in the loungeroom under a blanket, hanging out wet sheets to dry, jumping on a bed in new blue shoes. It’s precisely this feeling of the intimate and domestic that renders the uncanny moments more jolting. You are lulled into a sense of security by the Missoni-esque blanket on the turquoise couch in Guarded, 2022, before realising that the obstructed body hanging up the washing in Way forward, 2022, has hands but not feet, defying gravity. In If I can help it, 2022, the draped fabric pulled back by a concealed figure bizarrely meets the leafy Australian bush as though the two have been collaged onto one another, signalling a portal or a glitch. The collision of separate interfaces creates slippage between the real and surreal. Rohan’s title concept of Backdrops conjures the staged and theatrical, moving these playful paintings further towards the imaginary. The pattern on pattern of tablecloths, picnic rugs, op-shop dresses and doona covers clash in colourful crescendos. Hovering between the genres of landscape, portraiture, and abstraction, the series holds a kinetic energy, stirred by rising wind, the jostling of colours, a gesturing hand or dancing foot. In Drag it out, 2022, the autumn leaves on the ground and the vibrant yellow swathes falling from above bleed together, becoming a seamless study of difference and repetition. An orange sleeved arm curls through the centre of the fabric, as if to break the fourth wall. The overwhelming nature of the fabric, so engulfing and excessive is reminiscent of tangled sheets during a fever dream or a head stuck in worry. Sometimes bodiless, always faceless, the figure in the series seems to coax or invite the viewer into the painting’s ambiguous atmosphere, which hints at our collective anxieties. The complexity of the human presence which is revealed and concealed in the stark landscape triggers ideas of the climate crisis and uncertainty around our shared futures, questioning our place within nature. Across the exhibition, the figures’ arms continuously try to grasp something that appears just out of reach, mirroring the unsettling emptiness of something you can’t quite catch. - Emma Nixon. Curious about the tender intersections between art, life and friendships, Emma Nixon is a curator and writer. In 2018 she co-founded Cathedral Cabinet ARI in the Nicholas Building and in 2021 she completed her Honours in Fine Art (Curatorial Stream). She is currently a Gallery Assistant at Monash University Museum of Art and Haydens.

22/04/2022

FEATURE ON MONICA ROHAN IN ART COLLECTOR MAGAZINE

Feature on Monica Rohan in the current Art Collector issue: 'Into An Abyss" by Louise Martin-Chew.


21/09/2021

MONICA ROHAN SELECTED AS A FINALIST IN THE BRISBANE PORTRAIT PRIZE

Monica Rohan has been selected as a finalist in the Brisbane Portrait Prize. The prize celebrates Brisbane artists and their sitters, and the exhibition will be on display at Brisbane Powerhouse from 29 September until 31 October 2021.

Image: Monica Rohan, Mon and Mitch, 2021⁠


15/06/2021

MONICA ROHAN SHORTLISTED IN THE SUNSHINE COAST ART PRIZE

Monica Rohan has been selected as a finalist in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize. The exhibition will be on display at Caloundra Regional Gallery from 27 August until 10 October 2021.⁠


Image: Monica Rohan, Feel your way through, 2021⁠


04/05/2021

MONICA ROHAN SHORTLISTED IN THE RAVENSWOOD AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S ART PRIZE

Monica Rohan has been selected as a finalist in the 2021 Ravenswood Australian Women's Art Prize. Launched in 2017 to advance art and opportunity for emerging and established female artists in Australia, the $35,000 prize is the richest professional art prize for women in Australia. The winner will be announced on 14 May 2021, with the exhibition on display until 30 May 2021 at Ravenswood School for Girls in Sydney.⁠

Image: Monica Rohan, Tug, 2021


Showing all 85 artworks

Monica Rohan Way forward 2022 oil on board 120 x 183 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Pre-empt 2022 oil on linen 122 x 92 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Left a part of me there 2022 oil on board 120 x 183 cm Sold
Monica Rohan If I can help it 2022 oil on board 122 x 92 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Guarded 2022 oil on board 90 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Fallback 2022 oil on board 90 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Standing still 2021 oil on board 90 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Pinned down 2022 oil on board 122 x 92 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Hold this for now 2021 oil on board 92 x 122 cm $13,500.00
Monica Rohan Everything changes 2021 oil on board 90 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Backdrops 2021 oil on board 90 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Drag It Out 2021 oil on board 90 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Divider 2021 oil on board 90 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Crepe Myrtle 2022 oil on board 90 x 60 cm $8,800.00
Monica Rohan Still life 2021 oil on board 41 x 31 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Hillside 2021 oil on board 41 x 31 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Unphased 2020 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Too tired 2020 oil on board 41 x 31 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Spill 2020 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Somewhere else 2020 oil on board 120 x 90 cm Sold
Monica Rohan See through 2020 oil on board 41 x 31 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Not quite 2020 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Next door 2020 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Manoeuvre 2020 oil on board 36 x 28 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Lucy's tree 2020 oil on board 36 x 28 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Hesitate 2020 oil on board 36 x 28 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Haze 2020 oil on board 41 x 31 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Gully 2020 oil on board 120 x 90 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Glide 2020 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Floor bored 2020 oil on board 41 x 31 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Cliff 2020 oil on board 120 x 90 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Crisp 2020 oil on board 41 x 31 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Bad idea 2020 oil on board 60 x 45 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Anywhere else 2020 oil on board 41 x 31 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Unshrinking, unthinking 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Turn me down 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Straight-legged 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Re-appear 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Polite decline 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Peak drag 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Of course not 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Last glow 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Humming 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Disappear 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Again 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Bend 2019 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Pretty much as imagined 2018 oil on board 80 x 61 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Still here 2018 oil on board 61 x 46 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Split 2018 oil on board 61 x 46 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Yikes mountain 2018 oil on board 80 x 61 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Unavoidable 2018 oil on board 61 x 92 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Taciturn 2018 oil on board 61 x 46 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Straight up 2018 oil on board 80 x 61 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Soft touch 2018 oil on board 122 x 92 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Slight lean 2018 oil on board 122 x 92 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Mute 2018 oil on board 80 x 61 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Maybe but probably not 2018 oil on board 61 x 46 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Kitchen table 2018 oil on board 92 x 122 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Hollow 2018 oil on board 92 x 122 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Hold 2018 oil on board 63.5 x 42 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Gum 2018 oil on board 19 x 19.5 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Grey day 2018 oil on board 61 x 46 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Flightless bird 2018 oil on board 122 x 92 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Criss cross 2018 oil on board 122 x 92 cm Sold
Monica Rohan So it goes 2018 oil on board 61 x 46 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Wrench 2015 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Skulk 2015 oil on board 77 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Red robin 2015 oil on board 77 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Rather not 2016 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Rambling 2016 oil on board 80 x 180 cm Sold
Monica Rohan How Bridie sits 2016 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Funny peculiar 2016 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Funny haha 2016 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Floppy Sarah 2016 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Cold frizzle 2016 oil on board 77 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan All nerves 2016 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Above the mess 2015 oil on board 120 x 90 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Kate, awkward 2015 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Stance 2015 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Sarah in the undergrowth 2015 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Flung 2015 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Deliberating 2015 oil on board 80 x 60 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Sniff test 2014 oil on board 60 x 77 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Head space 2014 oil on board 60 x 77 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Sucked in 2014 oil on board 60 x 77 cm Sold
Monica Rohan Hold this for now 2021 oil on board 92 x 122 cm $13,500.00
Monica Rohan Crepe Myrtle 2022 oil on board 90 x 60 cm $8,800.00