Rohan Wealleans’ monstrous creations morph and bleed between painting and sculpture. Their wild and unruly appearance gives the impression that the artist has grown them in a subterranean lair through a mixture of wizardry and weird science rather than having created them in a white-walled studio. Embarrassingly tactile, the gnarls, knobs and bejewelled facets that either sprout from the wall or create caverns, recesses and bulbous protrusions call up mysterious voids and grotesque fertility. The titles of his works combine a love of science fiction and B-grade cinema with a metonymic sense of humour.
Wealleans’ new series of large, freestanding animal sculptures was exhibited in Building 140, in the Industrial Precinct on Cockatoo Island for the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010). Strange hybrids of a bear, an elephant and a deer, made from polystyrene, fibreglass and paint in the artist’s signature psychedelic treatment, have been allowed to run amuck in these abandoned spaces.