John Kinross Scholar in 1991
Paul Rooney, Stolen Things (installation view), sound installation, 2019
How did the experience affect you as an individual?
I had never been to Italy before (and had hardly travelled at all at that point) and fell in love with the culture of the country, modern and ancient. The immersion in the life and culture of a foreign city, the city of Florence, was hugely beneficial in broadening my outlook in every aspect of my life.I subsequently visited Italy many times afterwards because of the importance of this initial experience.
What was the impact on your practice?
I initially made works that referenced the comics, graffiti and street posters that I encountered during my time in Italy, as well as more Renaissance-related sources. My figurative paintings were later flooded with more archetypal ‘classical’ figures, architecture and references. A trip I made from Florence to Rome during my Scholarship was crucial to this.
What would you say the long term impact has been on yourself and you work?
The main impact is the affection for Italian culture that has remained with me, which still touches every aspect of my artistic and cultural life.