To encounter is to come upon or meet with something unexpected, and so encounters are at the heart of viewing a work by Gerda Roper. Her recent work includes a series of drawings and paintings about Children’s games, they depict dancing, talking, dressing up and hiding.

Roper says of the series entitled Hide and Seek “I find that there is the enduring thrill of playing Hide and Seek. I played it as a child in large houses in the dark, I played it with my child, and I see it is still being played with the same fearful abandon. In some of the paintings I am trying to capture that moment when you have to hold your breath, because breathing will give you away”. She also recalls, “how the sneaking back to base, the muffled sounds, and that the strangeness of objects in a half light and in the dark, make the negotiation of space perilous”.

These works are carefully wrought and crafted. They are poetic, intricate, decorative, domestic in scale, subject and content, and they utilise whimsy and humour as a subtle guide into other worlds and experiences. They bring together internal and external realities, dreams and fantasies, the observed and the imagined.

Taken from Absorbing Encounters by Professor Jill Journeaux, 2020.