Rosannagh Scarlet Esson - Alchemy

12 April - 17 May 2021

“My painting practice comes from a deep and profound love and respect for wild, elemental places. They invoke a primal sense of freedom and belonging that forever calls me to the forest; to the mountains; to the sea. It’s that untameable, indomitable quality that I find so intoxicating. The wildness of it all."

Zuleika Gallery is delighted to present Alchemy an inaugural solo exhibition of abstract paintings by Oxford-based artist, Rosannagh Scarlet Esson. Alchemy brings together Rosannagh's dynamic explorations into the chemistry of paint, metals, pigment and the elements, including brand new works produced at her studio in the past year in lockdown. Presented at Zuleika Gallery in Woodstock, this exhibition celebrates the re-opening of the gallery to the public after lockdown, from 12th April 2021.


Rosannagh Scarlet Esson works primarily in large-scale mixed media paintings on canvas. Her practice is inspired by the evolving aesthetics and symbolism of the natural world, particularly through the lens of Ecological Succession. Rosannagh explores the alchemy of painting by abstracting colour and form through exposure to elemental forces. Fire, ice, rain and time demonstrate how creation and destruction combine to shape the world around us. Rosannagh’s alchemical paintings explore the untameable, transformative effects of the elements, flora and fauna, pairing unconventional materials and processes to explore the duality of growth and decay.


Rosannagh’s process moves fluidly between creation and destruction, expressionism and precision. Elemental forces play active roles, and marks and textures are built up organically and without preconception. Paint or pigment is layered in expressive splashes, daubs and washes, with marks either scorched, scratched or ground into the surface of the canvas, in a process as tempestuous as the raw materials used. The resulting interactions, both material and symbolic, are in themselves a transformation - a kind of alchemy.


Rosannagh graduated from Oxford Brookes in 2016 with First Class Honours in Fine Art, and was awarded the Fine Art Dissertation Prize for the best critical submission in the year. Since graduating, she has exhibited in the UK and Europe, and has work in several private collections across the UK.




Please note: In line with government guidelines, Zuleika Gallery is temporarily closed physically but remains open for business online. A virtual viewing appointment booking system is available, and our exhibitions can be viewed online. Announcements regarding re-opening from 12 April will be shared on the gallery website and social media.  Our COVID-19 Policy is available to read on the website.

Normal Gallery open times


Illustrated: Rosannagh Scarlet Esson, Alchemy - Copper I , 2020, Copper paint, soot, salt and rain water on canvas, 100 x 100 cm