Antonia Rolls

My Art…

God’s Bathroom – part of a series of paintings called God’s Life. We glimpse God’s life while he is not looking. God’s Bathroom has reminders that a divinity lives here. On the towel is written “Cleanliness is next to me”, the washing is sorted into Clean and Unclean and the Daily Deity magazine on the floor’s headline is “Does a Deity Need To Wash? FAQ”. Acrylic on canvas.

God’s Garden – another of the God’s Life series. Here we have a quick look at God’s Garden.  The sign below the large tree says “Tree of knowledge, ask me anything,” and in the pond a sign says “no walking on water”. Acrylic on canvas.

Dad with Heavenly Choir – My father loved to sing in church and asked me to paint him with a heavenly choir.  Acrylic on canvas.

Looking for the Man Behind the Eyes – my father suffered for over a decade with increasing dementia.  A year before he died I painted this diptych, he seemed to have receded further and further away from us and I was struck by the way the light on his glasses seemed to make him even more absent by preventing us from seeing his eyes at all. Oil on wood.

Domestic Angel – from a series of paintings connecting the Divine and the Mundane. This Domestic Angel has had enough.  Ask her to do one more chore and she will thump you.

Portrait of Anne Snell – my aunt, much loved mother, grandmother, actress and singer.  Her daughters asked for this portrait in memory of her though painted long before she died.  She holds forget me not flowers in her hands. Oil on canvas.

Annunciation, “What, her?” – from the Divine and Mundane series.  Here, the Angel Gabriel is sent to tell Mary, a teenager of about thirteen, that she is to be the mother of God.  He arrives to find Mary a typical teenager with pots of tea, make up, chocolates and a magazine on the floor.  He checks in with God, asking, “What?  Her?”. Oil on wood.

Still Life with Butterflies – a one off commission that I loved painting.  I was asked to paint a still life of flowers like an old Dutch master.  Never in a million years able to compete, I painted these flowers against a brown background and added butterflies.  I had to get the tulips done fast as they drooped more and more each day.  Oil on board.

Jesus on the Tube – This small painting shows Jesus on the tube in London being ignored by everyone around him. But we can’t ignore him, he is looking directly at us.  Painted in the mid 1980s this painting went viral before the internet, and is widely used for education, in schools, churches and institutions. Acrylic on paper.

Jesus on the Tube, Carmel and Natalie – from the original Jesus on the Tube painting, I began painting commissions of families and people on the tube with a Jesus of their choice, at a station of their choice.  Each person holds items that tell us a little of who they are. Acrylic on paper.

Jesus on the Tube, the Glassock family – another commission from a lovely family, in memory of Mrs Glassock who had recently died.

Jesus on the Tube, Fortuna family – I met the Fortuna family in America and was delighted to paint them with their Jesus of choice on the London underground. 

Lou – from the Addicts And Those Who Love Them, behind every addict is someone traumatised by loving them exhibition.  Portraits and words from, with and of addiction.  Lou was one of the first portraits painted for this exhibition, she has come through her addictions, and in this portrait, is early on in her recovery. Acrylic on wood.

The Edworthy Children – I was asked to paint the Edworthy children with items that tell us a bit about them.  Included are the family pets.  Oil on wood.

Honeymoon Portrait – I was asked to paint this portrait of a newly married couple from the honeymoon from heaven.  They both love the outdoors, and camping. Oil on board.