Roxanne Sauriol draws colourful figures derived from the uncanny

With this in mind, perhaps it’s unsurprising to see such an ethereal collection of works from the artist. What might be surprising, however, is that Roxanne uses pencil and paper to create her smooth and digital-looking pieces. Driven by a desire to reconnect with paper and colour, she works in this manner as a mechanism for “unleashing creativity”. She adds: “In general, I tend to think a lot, doubt and ask myself all kinds of questions before doing anything. In these pencil images, I wanted to create more spontaneously to reconnect with the pleasure of creating that is easy to forget.” When the process begins, Roxanne will kick off with an image, sketch or idea she likes, and then she’ll test out “interesting tensions” and patterns on paper. “It’s a very intuitive process. Sometimes, the starting point is simply graphic, and the figuration is just a means of making shapes and colours vibrate as well as possible. Quite often, I do not know what it will be like; I let the image grow and surprise me until the end.”

By bringing this element of the unknown to her work – both in terms of the methodology and the finished piece – Roxanne is able to reveal a little more about herself. Within The Bath, for example, she likes the intense vibrancy of the colour palette she’s whipped together, while the “summer holiday” atmosphere of the piece is a quality that she finds eye-catching. “You can almost feel the warmness and remember childhood memories,” she says. Another, entitled Noises, is a piece she crafted from an old sketch which juxtaposes soft colour pencil with the roughness of the odd shapes – “those shapes remind me of mysterious creatures living in nature.”

It’s clear that Roxanne has an eye for the uncanny. From biblical iconography paired with modern feminist symbols, through to colourful backdrops that hark back to old school photographs; her work is bizarre, ambiguous and riddled with meaning. “I consider that once the piece is made, it’s free to evolve freely in everyone’s mind,” she says. “Even if the picture has a meaning to me, I want people to feel free to appropriate the picture according to their own experience, to what affects them. I think it is beautiful to let it fully open. It makes people think, imagine and connect with their own emotion.”

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