A Darker Thread: Rozanne Hawksley

Penitence I: the garter of penance, 2006-07

Leather, barbs, threads


Worn for long periods by nuns of particular orders, under the dictact of The Church of Rome. The pain inflicted by the barbs endured as punishment (often self-inflicted and decided upon) for ‘evil thoughts of the flesh’. A pain offered up as a private demonstration of Devotion; agony for the sake of and Love of Jesus Christ.

As with many pieces, there are hints of autobiography, whilst focusing on the main reasoning; the arrogance and misuse of power which brings potential for war and deep, often hidden sorrow and agony to the powerless.”

Rozanne Hawksley was born in 1931 in Portsmouth, Hampshire and has lived and worked in Pembrokeshire since 1987. She studied at Southern College of Art, Portsmouth Centre 1947-1951 and Royal College of Art, School of Fashion 1951-1954.

During her long career, Rozanne has taught and lectured at art colleges in Guildford, Brighton and Portsmouth as well as American Centre of Needlework, Washington DC, USA; Battersea College of Education (University of South Bank and Roehampton); Goldsmiths, University of London; The Slade and The Royal College of Art.

Solo exhibitions have included National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London 2014; Foundling Hospital Museum, London 2011/12; Mission Gallery, Swansea, Wales 1997 and 2010; The Centre for the Applied Arts, Ruthin, Wales 2009; Imperial War Museum aboard HMS Belfast, London 2006/2007.

Amongst numerous national and international group exhibitions Rozanne’s work has featured in the Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan 2013; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast 2012; Tilburg Textile Museum 2003, Holland; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 1993; Central Museum of Textiles, Łódź, Poland 1992.

In autumn 2017 Rozanne’s work will be shown at the Battleship Cove Maritime Museum in Massachusetts for a two year period. The Contemporary Art Society of Wales also recently purchased two works for the National Museum in Cardiff to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.

Rozanne’s work is held in a number of public collections including Embroiderers’ Guild; Association for the Advancement of Science, London; National Maritime Museum; Imperial War Museum; The Bishop of London, the Rt. Revd and Rt. Hon Richard Chartres; National Museum of Wales.

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