Colours That Accentuate: An Interview with Artist Ronan Walsh | In The Dotlight

A vibrant little spot in Hoxton, called Number 177 is the house that hosts our most recent group exhibition titled 'Captive State' featuring some brilliant up and coming local artists. Selecting artworks for this show was found to be truly difficult, but one Irish born artist captured our attention right away, with his interesting approach to colour and form that is highly seductive. Ronan Walsh, painted a wonderfully dark series that we wanted to know a little more about. He is what he had to say:

[DYD] So as the name of the exhibition is 'Captive State', what is one thing that captivates you?

[RW] People and their circumstance.

What was your biggest inspiration when creating the pieces that we featured for this show?

As these pieces are portraits, the people are primarily the biggest inspiration. But not only that, I tend to lean towards those who have interesting expressions or body language which ends up telling more about themselves than meets the eye.

Can you tell us a bit about what is your process like?

I mostly paint on board as it’s a more rigid surface for drawing on. After priming the board, I normally sketch the outline of the subject, I then build up the features of the subject in paint with a water colour base. I then go through a process of colour selection and this is spontaneous depending on the connection that I have with the piece. My work is a marriage of abstract shapes, blocks of colour, all connected with line. I would use the odd luminous colour to accentuate the piece but I generally find that it adds a positive twist. Most of my work hav no backgrounds, as I like to focus solely on the subject.

What is one that thing you want to get really good at?

To deliver multiple messages in my artwork that are thought-provoking.

What, or who inspires you to become a better artist?

I have a soft spot for the National Portrait Gallery and find myself in there quite regularly… I am usually interested in other artists’ approach they take in capturing people. I am drawn by the works of Giacometti, Louis Le Brocque and Francis Bacon to name but a few. I must admit, my wife also inspires me to become a better artist and encourages me on a daily basis.

Do you work from home or in a studio? How does this inform your art process?

I work from home as I find it to be a calm and relaxing environment to be in. To be honest as long as I have enough space for my pencils and paint, I’d happily work anywhere.

What made you decide to enter your artwork with Dark Yellow Dot?

It seemed like a great opportunity to not only be promoted by a team who is passionate about art and also show my work in a creative venue.

Where else can we find your art, online or in person?

I am based in East Dulwich and will be taking part in the Dulwich Festival Artist’s Open House in May. There are a few other exhibitions coming up, details of which are listed on my website: where you can also see most of my latest pieces. I’m on the usual social media channels of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter too.

To see Ronan Walsh's work in person visit our group exhibition Captive State from March 10th - May 10th, 2018 at Number 177 in Hoxton, London which features artwork from the other selected artists Roberto Grosso, Mark Batty, Riko Yasumiya. Click here for more details about the exhibition or visit Ronan's website to see more of his artwork.


Lauren Little

Lauren was born in London, but grew up in Canada where she received her degrees with distinction in Fine Arts and Education. Now she's back, she continues her work in creative arts by making art and teaching it, while developing opportunities for early career artists by creating and running the online platform Dark Yellow Dot.

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