Roger Cecil 1942 – 2015

Abstract | Mixed Media | Print

“The artist/shaman is the one who manifests secrets to be decoded or interpreted by the viewer.”
Roger Cecil 1997

Now widely recognised as one of the most remarkable artists Wales has produced, Cecil’s abstraction combines the rough-hewn and the sensuous, capturing the true essence of the Welsh Valleys. Determined to create ‘his own art on his own terms’ he turned down a scholarship at The Royal College of Art at the age of 21, electing to live and work in his childhood home in Abertillery for most of his life.

Cecil was inspired by the way in which the industrial combined with the natural environment, fusing vigorous scratched and scraped marks and deeply pitted surfaces with beguiling curves and serene polished surfaces. Complex in texture and predominantly abstract, the forms of figures and landscape merge, often combined with cartographic emblems, and increasingly inspired by the layered symbolism of African art.

“In the work of many artists what you see is what you get. Looking longer, though repaid, seldom transforms anything. In the case of Roger Cecil, though, the seams beneath yield hidden riches.”
Perer Wakelin

OBITUARY Peter Wakelin | The Guardian March 2015