Rosa Sepple PPRI was born in 1951 in London of Italian/British parents, Luciana and James Wright. Her formative years were spent in Northern Italy, growing up with her Italian grandparents in Treviso, near Venice. Throughout these years she spent a great deal of time in the studio of her grandfather, Italian artist, Salvatore Casagrande. On returning to England, after attending grammar school, Rosa married photographer Ed Sepple and after raising two sons she was able to devote most of her time to painting.
Rosa Sepple is a self-taught artist, starting her painting career in the late 1990’s. She is renown for her striking mixed-media paintings that are based on watercolour and collage.
She is now fully occupied as a painter committed to producing exciting, vibrant and highly original figurative works combining observation, memory and imagination.
Rosa’s compositions have a powerful visual strength and refreshing spontaneity. She experiments continuously using a combination of mediums including water colour, acrylic, gouache and ink as well as collage to produce beautiful textured surfaces and rich variations of colour and tone.
Most of her inspiration is drawn from ordinary people and everyday experiences and events. These are then transformed and transported into a dream-like world of her own.
Above all else, Rosa Sepple’s unique style brings a whimsical feel to her paintings. People appear to float or fly in her work and architecture leans or topples in magical directions to compliment a composition. Pushing artistic boundaries at every possible opportunity, Rosa Sepple’s sense of adventure, colour and spirit continually shines out.
The artist has exhibited her work with leading British Galleries since 2002, staging numerous highly successful solo exhibitions. She exhibited at the annual exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, the Mall Galleries, London, in 2003, where she was the recipient of the Best Figurative Painting Award.
In 2004 Rosa Sepple was elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. Her paintings have been purchased for private collection worldwide and shown at major venues including exhibiting at The Royal Academy. Several solo exhibitions have been staged in prestigious galleries throughout the UK and staged by Adrian Hill Fine Art at the Mall Galleries in London and their Galleries in Lees Yard, Holt.
Rosa is committed to producing exciting, vibrant and highly original figurative works combining observation, memory and imagination. Most of her inspiration is drawn from ordinary people and everyday experiences and events and in numerous private collections in the UK, Italy, France, and the USA.
Anthony J Lester- Member of International Association of Art Critics and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts said of the work;
“Her compositions are bursting with vitality and primary idiosyncratic colours, which ingeniously weave together the figurative and the fantasy, always delighting my censorious eye. Here we have a painter who has fine-tuned her skills to give us paintings that are always full of dramatic impact and refreshing spontaneity, and frequently imbued with her quirky sense of humour. Sepple’s affinity with other painters is not solely the result of eclecticism; the observant will see echoes of Marc Chagall (the flying figures) and perhaps even a suggestion of John Piper (in some of her vivacious architectural scenes). However, her images are certainly not flaccid imitations – far from it. Sepple has developed a highly distinctive style that is intensely personal.
Rosa’s works are vibrant, magical, energetic and full of irreverent playfulness. Surface is just as important in the paintings of Rosa Sepple and for me she was the biggest surprise here. Her lustrous jewelled surfaces were not what I expected from seeing her work on-line. Peopled by languorous bad girls with decadent polished nails – frequently getting up to dance. Unashamedly decorative, her paintings glitter like a Christmas card, snippets of fabric and embossed wallpaper are worked into the surfaces.
And I’d be surprised if there isn’t chocolate, honey and jelly tots worked into that paint somewhere too. This is where painting comes into its own, in the subtleties and nuances of surface and in the physicality of the handmade marks – it’s something that struggles to be captured and reproduced in print and often eludes the sterile pixel grids of computer screens.
Surface has to be peered into, a nose-length away, to get the full effect. I’m glad (and I guess Galleries, with their big investment in bricks, mortar and hefty overheads are too) that the internet has yet to match the experience of standing in front of a picture in the real world.
(First appeared in the Western Mail on Feb 27 2009)”
Rosa Sepple was elected President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in January 2017 … an accolade never awarded to a female member of the Institute before, she served as President until April 2022.
Her most recent major solo exhibition was staged at The Gallery, Holt in September 2021 coinciding with the release of her second book, written by Adrian Hill FRSA entitled ‘A Journey Like No Other’.
Rosa is now preparing for her next major exhibition at The RWS Galleries, 3 – 5 Whitcomb Street, London in September 2023