Born in Sydney in 1972, Joseph Rolella completed a Bachelor of Visual Art (Honours) in 1994 and was awarded the William Fletcher Trust Scholarship. Rolella then went on to obtain his Masters in Visual Art at the University of Western Sydney in 1998.
Rolella’s latest collection, Terrain, captures iconic and timeless Australian scenes with a vitality rarely seen. By introducing raw emotive colour and embracing bold tones, he has taken his fascination with light and surface to another level. Echoing the effects of time on cratered rock pools, mangrove roots and gnarled tree bark, Rolella builds his canvasses to a point where the surfaces themselves appear to have been weathered from wind, rain and tide. Rolella states, “My work is about the process of making visible the essence of place and experience”. His recent abstract paintings seek to expose a delicate equilibrium between a sense of balance and visual calm and the tumult of painterly texture and surface tension.
Rolella has been awarded numerous art prizes, including major National Art Award; the Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship (2003), The Metro 5 Art Prize in 2005 and The Mosman Art Prize in 2010. He also accomplished a 2015 finalist position for The Moran Portrait Prize (and 2013 semi-finalist), finalist for The Muswellbrook Art Prize,Painting /Drawing (2015) and also finalist in both the 2014 Paul Guest Drawing Prize and The Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize.
His solo and group exhibitions have been seen around the nation, including exhibitions in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. Joseph Rolella was featured in The Kedumba Drawing Award in Bathurst Regional Gallery (2015), and Depot Gallery, Waterloo (2011) for his “Terrain” exhibition.
Rolella is held in Public and Private Collections across Australia including the University of Western Sydney, the Australian Art Investment Trust, the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Sydney Council and Hospital, Westpac Collection, ANZ Collection and QANTAS. His work has also been shown in Thailand and Singapore.