Roxana Halls

Roxana Halls  has held several successful solo exhibitions including at the National Theatre, with Hayhill Gallery, Cork St, Mayfair and with Beaux Arts, Bath. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions such as the B.P. Portrait Award on five occasions, The RA Summer exhibition, The Royal Society of Portrait Painters and in many group shows, art competitions and at art fairs. Her awards include the Villiers David Prize, The Discerning Eye's Founder's Purchase Prize & The Derwent Special Prize.

Halls has created works commissioned by and for Arts Council England funded exhibitions and supported museum and touring shows including Kapow! held at Stoke Potteries Museum and Dear Christine which toured the UK in 2019 and 2020. She has co-curated exhibitions in the U.K. And contributed articles for and has been featured in many leading art magazines.Her commissions include Alan Grieve CBE, Chairman of the Jerwood Foundation, Debbie Bliss MBE, John Simopoulos, Emeritus Professor and has also produced a series of portraits for the BBC Arts production of Sitting by Katherine Parkinson, made for BBC FOUR and broadcast in early 2021.

She has appeared as a guest on BBC Woman's Hour and she was recorded in conversation at her London studio for BBC Radio 4's Only Artists. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections in the UK and internationally including The Discerning Eye Collection, St. Catherine's College Oxford, Brian Sewell, Katherine Parkinson, Rosa Bosch, Julie Burchill, Debbie Bliss MBE, Luke Jennings, author of the Killing Eve novels. In 2020 her portrait of Horse McDonald was acquired for the permanent collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Co-Founder,  Creative Producer & Design Director 

Frequently employing dark glamour and a wry deliberate humour, Halls’ paintings depicting female impropriety offer a riposte to self-censure. Halls is drawn to investigate the meaning of cultural trends and invites the viewer to reflect on the interplay of gender, class, sexuality and spectatorship. "My work using laughter explores ways of depicting women's internalised rules of conduct and my perception of their conflicted ever fluctuating response to external expectations. I'm interested in posing questions about the ways in which within contemporary culture women are appraised, influenced & policed and how this 'self- surveillance' circumscribes the repertoire of legitimate actions available to women.

 

Many of the subjects of my paintings offer a riposte to self-consciousness, they often teeter on the verge of indulging in 'catastrophic' behaviour, or at times topple over. They may be inappropriate and immune to self-censure. When I paint images of women laughing, eating or interacting I am always cognisant of the fact that the most seemingly innocuous actions can be subversive, just as acts of transgression may be foregrounded by the prosaic.


In making such work I have been inspired by writers such as Hélène Cixous, in particular her groundbreaking pieces such as 'Sorties' and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’, in which she dissects the assymetrical relationship between sex and power. When I paint images depicting female pleasure, excessiveness or impropriety I think of Cixous, her ideas and her stories. She shows us how resistance can take many forms."