Alexandra Roddan, Man overlooking the Thames, London, mixed media on canvas, 2019

John Kinross Scholar in 2017


How did the experience affect you as an individual?
I think that having the opportunity to experience a different culture not only influences the art one makes but the person as well. I learned what was valued in Florentine life, especially the care which is taken in many daily activities- whether it is something as small as making a cappuccino or something more profound like making a sculpture. It is skill and simplicity of the arts and crafts that make these things so great. It made me think more about the way I was producing artwork- such as the quality of materials and variety of techniques to achieve more polished outcomes.


What was the impact on your practice?
In Florence I became fascinated by Renaissance art and the technical skill required to produce work of such a high calibre. The city is an urban museum, providing plentifully for the sketching from sculptors and painters such as Leonardo and Michelangelo. Such availability of reference taught me much about composition, proportion, gesture.
I have found coming back to my practice that this approach to drawing
has helped me achieve a higher level of detail in my work.

Alexandra Roddan, The Ponte Vecchio, Daytime, Florence, mixed media, 76 x 102cm, RSA Colle ction

Now my paintings have more depth and are more complex; they have expanded in their variety of compositions and shape design. Also, the act of sketching freely in the streets of Florence; documenting it from many different angles and points of view and experimenting with materials enabled me to produce a larger variety of outcomes, reminding myself of the importance of feeling “free”, which allows one to be open to new ideas and experiences- a truly important note in the development of my practice. These sketches became incredibly relevant in my process of capturing the feeling of a city, when I make work now I try to spend longer sketching and emerging myself in a place before producing the work.


What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
Long term I have become more conscious of the materials I use to produce higher quality of art. I allocate myself more time to research a place- experiment and sketch in situ before I work. To help capture seemingly mundane moments which frequently go unnoticed. I have realised the importance of having enough time to allow ones mind to wonder, to experiment and play around with ideas because this is often
when great change happens and new ideas evolve.