Rocaille Angels -Spiral Notebook

Rocaille Angels -Spiral Notebook

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n the 17th and 18th century, angels, putti and cherubim were widely used in ornamentation and architecture. Holly Jade O’Leary’s artwork Rocaille Angels was painted at Somerset House in 2017. Reinterpreting the landscape of the city - the angels and faces found in decorative sculpture by Inigo Jones merge with popular culture, and the artwork becomes an emblem of the theatre of the mind, the power of architecture to lend aesthetic enchantment and grace to elevate and inspire. A gentle humour pervades the work, the characters are kittenish, a golden moon floats in the foreground of a lake, a giant carp or goldfish blows bubbles, and bacchan vines and vases frame an archway. The archway always leads to a journey of some description, perhaps Sicily, perhaps a fantasy land, an invitation to the art of the possible. The audience is reminded of the transformative power of the imagination to gild and create stories as the angels are placed within a timeless natural setting, now perhaps they are flowers or fairies, beautiful faces or characters found in a crowd, artfully made up, glamorous and compelling. Vivacious bijoux glamour lends stylish aesthetic enchantment.

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