The well established and awarded Royal Academy artist Mick Rooney, has an extraordinary breath of practice. He conjures narrative, illustrative and atmospheric dream-worlds through his paintings. “I am a narrative painter who seeks stories to tell”. His influences include Judaism and Islam and his work displays an attraction to the small scaled Indian and Persian miniatures; colourful, intricate, and enchanted.
I feel a sense of illumination emanating from his mysterious and magical paintings. Some of the characters appear ghost-like, radiating under-spirits as a result of his process of building his paintings through a journey. Rooney is a great believer in never throwing works away, but trying again and re-working, which I think adds to the mysterious, ghostly effect, of something else within or under the image. He delights in what paint as a medium can do and how it can deliver in so many varying ways, testing its capabilities.
His paintings are highly intricate, however poetic the subject matter, the details are always precise. He refers to realistic painting as a different sort of looking and one that all artists should remind themselves of. The minutely observed, dreaming, pastoral narratives are often appropriated to influences and inspirations of a childhood spent with his mother who was a mental health nurse. The painful strangeness of human nature was revealed to the artist whose regurgitative mind transforms this range of visual vocabulary into beautiful and bewitching paintings. Mankind can be seen to be central to his work, he explores the inner mythologies, neurosis, dreams and secrets of today’s society. His paintings speak to the soul, promising clarity and insight.
At Art on a Postcard we’re excited for Mick Rooney’s upcoming solo exhibition ‘Forests of the Night and Other Tales’ at Fosse Gallery, Gloucestershire, running from 6th-25th March 2017.
About the writer
Tara is an Art Foundation and History of Art graduate born and bred in London. She has travelled the globe extensively, immersing herself in the vibrant arts and cultures the world has to offer, and hopes her next adventure will take her to India! She is currently teaching English as a foreign language whilst enjoying volunteering at Art on a Postcard, and she hopes to break into the art world!