Rosa Allison

Based London, UK
Rosa Allison - artist


When I am making a painting, I think of the whole object - like a sculpture that occupies the wall. The paint is a skin of the surface. I think about the space surrounding the work like an architect or sculptor. 

My process involves improvisation and play – similar to an improvised performance or dance; the larger scale of the paintings allows them to act as a stage in which actions and gestures take place. The way that each part holds its own weight is often precarious. This precariousness is an expression of vulnerability of the human body.

My work is mostly abstract however I borrow elements from colour field painting, surrealism and collage. It sits between abstraction and figuration like a surrealist landscape that defies the laws of physics. 

I use a mixture of oil and acrylic paint and work with loose hand gestures, allowing the paint to fall naturally without forcing much control. I allow chance and intuition to lead me, allowing the fluid nature of the paint to dictate the outcome.

I am inspired by avant garde abstractionists such as Joan Miro, Malevich and Hilma Af Klimt. I love the sense of experimentation and discovery. I am also inspired by early Japanese Art- particularly the way that calligraphy and ink painting are closely linked to Buddhist philosophy. 


2018: Masters in Painting, Royal College of Art, London
2015: Bachelors of Fine Art, University of Canterbury

Selected Exhibitions & Awards

2019: Bridge the Channel, Rye Lane, London
2019: Shortlisted, Beers prize
2018: Layover, Versus Art Project, Istanbul
2018: Royal College of Art Degree Show, London
2018: Rosa Allison- Painting at the Pelican, Peckham Pelican, London
2017: Whip, Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London
2017: Work in Progress show, Royal College of Art, London
2016: Exercises in Control and Chaos, HANGAR, Lisbon
2015: Expeditionary Force, Suite gallery, Wellington
2015: Susan Ethel Jones Fine Arts travelling scholarship
2014: Remake/Remodel, SOFA Gallery
2014: Amazon Painters, ‘Birds of a Feather’, Chambers241 Gallery
2014: Paperworks, First Thursdays Gallery
2014: Dirty Laundry, First Thursdays Pop-Up Exhibition
2011: Lonsdale Edgar Prize in Painting
2011: University of Canterbury Arts Scholarship
2011: University of Canterbury Earthquake Scholarship



  • Award Winner
  • Internationally exhibited

Purchase artwork by Rosa Allison

  • Achievements & Goals

    • To reach outside of art circles with my work
    • To break down the suspicious attitude around contemporary art
    • Moving from London to New Zealand
    • Continue painting
  • Genre & Style

    • Mostly abstract
    • with elements from colour field painting, surrealism and collage
  • Inspiration & Vision

    • Avant garde abstractionists e.g. Miro, Malevich, Klimt
    • Sense of experimentation and discovery
    • Japanese Art
  • Sales & Trajectory

    • Already sold works
    • Self-funded
  • Technique & Material

    • Mixture of oil and acrylic


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