Recently commissioned by Disney for the forthcoming movie 'Haunted Mansion' and a major Museum show in Berlin at Haus Kunst Mitte starting in June 2023, Roxana's profile has never been higher.
This follows 2022 that saw one of her portraits acquired by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and her portrait of Katie Tomkins - Mortuary & Post Mortem Services Manager at West Hertfordshire NHS Trust has been acquired for the permanent collection of the SCIENCE MUSEUM as part of their COVID-19 Collecting Project. The portrait was selected from among over 15,000 Portraits for NHS Heroes worldwide to represent them
Roxana Halls Biography
Roxana Halls was born in Plaistow, London in 1974
Growing up, she aspired to be an actress and her long-standing interest in drama and performance is evident in the baroque sensibility of many of her works. Halls has said that she often equates painting with performance and that her models collude with her in creating theatrical scenarios for which the viewer is invited to tease out narratives.
Describing herself as mainly self-taught, Halls took a foundation course in art at Plymouth College of Art and Design but found that she was very self-reliant. When she moved to London, she ‘just painted, worked hard, went to the National Gallery constantly and did it that way.’ She moved near a former theatre in south London where she established her first studio.
Roxana has produced several critically acclaimed pieces and collections - some of which include:
• Laughing While
• Tingle Tangle
• Suspended Women
2021 Crime Spree
Colley Ison Gallery
The Stash Gallery at Vout-O-Reenee's, London
2015 Unknown Women
Hayhill Gallery, Baker St, London
Hayhill Gallery, Baker St, London
2009 Roxana Halls' Tingle-Tangle
National Theatre,South Bank,London
2023 created the Stretching Room paintings for HAUNTED MANSION by Disney, due to be released in the US on 28th July and the UK on the 11th August 2023. The painting are now held in the Disney Archive collection
Portrait of Katie Tomkins - Mortuary & Post Mortem Services Manager at West Hertfordshire NHS Trust has been acquired for the permanent collection of the SCIENCE MUSEUM as part of their COVID-19 Collecting Project. The portrait was selected from among over 15,000 Portraits for NHS Heroes worldwide to represent them.
Portrait of Horse McDonald was acquired for the permanent collection of the NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND and is currently on display in the Modern Portrait rooms of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Featured in episode 1 of EXTRAORDINARY PORTRAITS presented by Tinie first aired on BBC One 27th February at 6:30pm & repeated on 28th February at 11:10pm. Her painting from the show was recently exhibited at Turner Contemporary Gallery, Margate
Created a new work in collaboration with the HOUSE of CAROLINA HERRERA & InFems for their first NFT collection for International Women's Day NIGHTCLUBBING
A discussion with Catherine McCormack for UNIT London on Hélène Cixous and the influence on Halls work The Politics of Female Sexual Joy can be viewed via Halls YouTube channel
In conversation with Nicola Jennings and The Colnaghi Foundation on laughter, self-portraiture and her work in relation to the art of Judith Leyster, Rembrandt, Goya and Bellini. COLNAGHI FOUNDATION online
Interview with Caitlin Hart in INJECTION magazine Disrupting Politeness: In Conversation with Roxana Halls
Interview with Frances Forbes-Carbine The noxious and the nourishing: Roxana Halls on women, violence and spectatorship for CULTURALL magazine
AJ Kelly wrote on Roxana Halls work and its broader feminist interpretation in AFTER ELLEN magazine Laughing While Under Surveillance: the Art of Roxana Halls
Roxana Halls' work has been exhibited widely and is held in numerous private and public collections in the UK and internationally.
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 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."
Halls has held numerous solo exhibitions including at The National Theatre, Beaux Arts Bath Gallery and Hayhill Gallery, Mayfair. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group shows including the BP Portrait Award, The RA Summer Exhibition, The Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Competition. She has been invited on three occasions to exhibit work at The Discerning Eye exhibition.
She 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 regularly exhibits with Colley Ison Gallery in Birmingham with whom she held her most recent solo exhibition, CRIME SPREE in 2021.
Halls has been the recipient of several awards, including the Villiers David Prize, The Discerning Eye Founder's Purchase Prize, The Derwent Special Prize and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award and has been nominated for a 2021 DIVA Award.
She has written articles for and has been featured in many leading art magazines including Time Out, Modern Painters, Wallpaper*, Art of England, Artists & Illustrators, The Independent, The Sunday Telegraph, Galleries, The London Evening Standard, City AM, Airmail, Bust, Diva Magazine, FAD, Art North, Apollo Magazine and Trebuchet. 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 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 curated exhibitions and contributed to symposia in the UK and been called upon to judge several art competitions.
A portrait of Roxana Halls was exhibited among a series of photographs of 30 women painters as part of the celebrations for the one hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage in the Upper Waiting Hall in the Palace of Westminster in March 2019.
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, Bel Mooney, Rosa Bosch, Julie Burchill, Debbie Bliss MBE, Luke Jennings, author of the Killing Eve novels.