Andrew Mark Rossell
Born August 1960, to English parents in Newcastle, Australia. Son of an academic and passionate hunter with 'wanderlust' Family returned to the UK four years later, and it was there, in the pastoral setting of South England, that a wonder for all historical and natural was aroused. Experiences whilst visiting the great cathedrals of Canterbury and Salisbury were to resurface in gothic sculptural exhibitions of 1987.
1971 Emigration to New Zealand: Teenage years were spent painting and hunting in the braided river system of the Waitaki Valley. First studies at University were appropriately Zoology and Biology. Although the content of my work is, I would say, embedded in traditions of European art, the years in NZ with it's rich and wild landscape; exotic flora and fauna, became hugely influential and lead to my first biomorphic/ anthropomorphic works around 1986, followed by an extension of this Anthropomorphism, into a Gothic Biomorphic Surrealism the following years.
1982-1987 Anatomy and 'Blood Eagles':The processes of casting, embedding, and dissecting, fascinated me during my years at University.Later I found my way to the Anatomy Museum of the University's Medical School. These impressions were immediately transposed into Bronze works of 'Blood Eagles' and tortured dissected human forms, unfortunately now lost. Some of these influences found expression in the work Bird Bath 2003 with its flayed flesh and sinews.
Portrait with Dalischnecke. Copyright Hanna Partaj 2013
1990's Philosophy. Influenced first by Buddhist Philosophies, and later by Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian scientist and philosopher, from 1993 to the beginning of 2003 making works of art was for me hugely problematic; there were no gallery or public exhibitions from mid1993 to mid 2000. It was not until 2003, after 2 years studying and working in the UK, that works such as Schmetterling and other new morphic works were created.
December 2003: move to Austria.
December 2005: Saw the completion of large shrouds in fiberglass mat,dealing with the threshold of death.
2005-2006: "Black Slabs" of Polyester. Rectangular plates of smoky resin with body casts of hands, faces, and fingers that are sometimes extended and branched like roots or twigs. These mysterious works reveal the process of search and experiment. Death-like,the faces peer out of the smoky watery worlds that they inhabit.
2006-2009: The theme of death has been a recurrent one, but lead through the impetus of two shows about evolution to a development of Morphic works similar to early Biomorphic works of 1986, but dealing with point and periphery, what was inside turned out.
2010-2013 From 2010 i wanted to devote myself to the pursuit of the Sacral in art. I wanted to make a journey just as one would a pilgrimage, but through a Spiritual Landscape. The root of this was my experience along the Saint Jakob's Way to Santiago de Compostella. There I saw really old, dusty, and for my mind completely dead statues and paintings, and the question arose.. how could one make images of the 'Virgin' Maria for our times that would live again?. and provocatively i set about to lay bare the myth that the forces of evil are outside us. i wanted to be honest and spoke of my pubitarian desires, and thus a Scandal happened! so the next year i wanted to follow the theme further and produced Astromadonna and this year a Pieta ensemble. and this will go ever more towards the realm of ephemeral. so actually the drawing of the Pieta will be the guide to the future work in 2014.