Rohan Wealleans
Collection: Wallace Paramount Awards

Rohan Wealleans is the winner of the Paramount Award for his work “Tingler”. James Wallace, Chairman of the Wallace Arts Trust described Rohan Wealleans’ winning paint, fibreglass and steel sculpture titled Tingler as “something unique, featuring the many wonderful patterns and textures revealed when peeling away layers of paint.” The Paramount Award winner receives $35,000 for a six-month residency in New York with the International Studio and Curatorial Program with included airfares, and a bronze trophy by leading New Zealand sculptor Terry Stringer.

Winner of the 2006 Paramount Award
Paint, fibreglass and steel
2565 x 2000 x 2000 mm
Collection of the James Wallace Arts Trust

Rohan Wealleans (b.1977)

The work of Rohan Wealleans addresses the nature of painting, exploring and pushing the boundaries of the medium. Innumerable layers of paint are built up into bulbous shapes and then sliced into, exposing the strata beneath, as ‘he excavates paint layer by layer’.[1]

The sheer size of Wealleans’ work, combined with the application of layers of paint built up and then partially carved away impacts both setting and viewer. ‘These layers have been excavated so the underpainting can be glimpsed like geological strata. It is a world in itself made up of layers of culture and history with only a few places that are deep mysterious holes yet to be explored.’[2]

‘Rohan pushes the painterly expressionist tradition of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning to its limits and in doing so reflects on primal and instinctive in art, making sculptural paintings with knives and mannequin busts. His marble-like monumental and simultaneously delicate millifiori-like works stimulate a discussion between objects and painting, and challenges the stereotypical heroic sculptor to a brawl on a painter’s turf.’[3]

[1] Anna Miles, ‘Flesh and fruity’ Exhibition brochure, Artspace, 2001
[2] T.J. McNamara, The galleries: Working in mysterious ways (04/10/06)
[3] ‘eSCAPE’ e-zine, Art & Industry Biennial Trust