Colorado’s colour queen: in the studio with artist Romelle

Inside the former auto-shop where she creates her neon works

In July 2016, during the peak of Thailand’s monsoon season, I shared a hostel with the most enticing woman. She meditated in the mornings, played guitar at sunset and every evening, I’d find Romelle sprawled out on her lower bunk, encircled by notepads bearing assorted hues. Four years later, her fascination with colouration remains prominent; ‘Abstract Maximalism: more is more,’ she says.

‘My work is abstract in nature with layers involved which speaks to the maximal aspect of it all.’

These unprecedented times have led to many creatives feeling disoriented. Despite it all, Romelle has sought solace in communal spaces. Her studio is housed in a former auto-factory with great garage doors and oil spills that point into its past. The revamped warehouse has been home to artists for a decade now.

‘We think of our building as a community,’ she says. ‘Being rooted in ingenious fields, we all eventually help one another because of the inclusiveness of where we physically work. I can trade spray paint and get my flat bike tire fixed all under one roof.’

 

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Similarly, her own creativity isn’t confined to the studio. ‘My home is a place for relaxation: it’s more organised with mixed books, plants, a record player and a blend of antique furniture from 1974, while the studio has neon colours and sporadic energy running through it. Both spaces help me balance out the days, as each couldn’t exist without the other.’

Since February, she’s been simmering techniques and themes alongside analysing her relationship with pigments. ‘I’ve leaned on Modern Art History this lockdown and as a result, my choice of palette feels more intentional.’

Romelle’s exhibition In Passing opens 12 December 2020 at Bell Projects in Denver, Colorado. Additionally, she creatively directs Babe Walls mural festival with an all-women and non-binary artist roster.

Photography: Danielle Webster
Photography: Danielle Webster
Photography: Danielle Webster
Photography: Danielle Webster

How I work: artist Jason Martin

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