Rozanne Bell is bringing her original artwork to the Artmarket Gallery in Cottingham.

Rozanne Bell is bringing her original artwork to the Artmarket Gallery in Cottingham.

“Ever since I first picked up a paintbrush with my mother as a little girl, the compulsion to paint has dominated my life,” she says. “The extraordinary colours, light and contrasts of Zimbabwe, where I grew up, are to blame.
“Art became and has ever been my friend, supporting my children and me throughout. Starting with exhibitions of animals and flowers at the age of 16 I’ve expanded my repertoire to include landscapes and country scenes, harbours, twilight and moonlight scenes, and even space and galaxy paintings. 

“I could no more paint a bleak, dull picture than I could fly to the moon. Anyone who grew up in Africa will tell you the same: the art there is so bright. I used to come over here on holidays, go to galleries, and be amazed at the lack of colour.”

Rozanne’s British parents moved to Zimbabwe before she was born in 1962, and she lived there 2002, when the political situation under President Robert Mugabe forced her to flee the country with her five young children, taking only what they stood up in.

“I took the children to school one day, and never went home again. I lost everything, including – the biggest tragedy! – all my art materials and books.”

Rozanne and her family ended up in a part of the UK as far removed from the blistering sunlit landscapes of Zimbabwe as it’s possible to imagine, settling among the very English landscapes of Dorset, where they now live at Sturminster Newton, while Rozanne runs her successful art business from a studio in nearby Shillingstone.

Despite having had a successful career as an artist in her home country, she had to start again from scratch when she arrived in the UK back in the early 2000s, haunting car boot sales for frames and selling her work round local pubs.
“Then someone spotted my work, liked it, and got me into a local gallery,” she says. “My big break came with my paintings of harbours.”

Rozanne is keen that each and every work she creates is unique. “I’m always conscious of those who like and buy my work, and haven’t succumbed to the temptations of limited editions or mass market prints,” she says. “Each picture I paint is an original: no one painting is ever the same as another.”

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