Alice Boggis-Rolfe

Lamu to Laikipia, Paintings from Kenya

7–13 June 2021

The Golden Hour
Oil on canvas, 76 x 102cm

Born in 1990, Alice Boggis-Rolfe is a figurative painter. Her subject matter veers from vast open landscapes to quiet, intimate interiors and still-lifes. Alice trained at Chelsea College of Art and Heatherley’s School of Fine Art. She has since held four sell-out solo exhibitions, the most recent of which sold out in a matter of hours. Aside from these she exhibits regularly with the New English Art Club, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. Her work has received numerous awards such as the Winsor & Newton First Prize for a Young Artist, The William Sloane Medal and the Diana Brooks Prize. In 2017, Alice took part in the Television series Landscape Artist of the Year reaching the final three out of thousands of contestants nationwide. She lives and works in Gloucestershire with her husband Harry. 

 Bobbing Dhows, Early Morning
Oil on canvas, 50 x 50cm 
 Pride Rock
Oil on canvas, 76 x 102cm

After months in lockdown I was incredibly lucky to get to Kenya for a long- planned trip over the winter. I have travelled extensively with my work, but have never been quite so moved to paint as I was during and after this trip. 

Throughout the first lockdown I painted furiously, but gradually the inspiration faded along with any sense of urgency or pressure. Suddenly I had just two weeks in Kenya and had to paint everything I possibly could. The days raced past and I am left with a slideshow of memories from my time in Lamu, Borana and Samburu, which I can share with you through an eclectic collection of paintings. One minute a flurry of dhows sets out from Shela village, the next a vast expanse of hot red earth takes over, then fading pink mountains, decaying sea-worn walls, and back to a lush green view of Pride Rock and beyond. I saw some wonderful animals and wildlife, but these don’t feature in either my paintings or principal memories of the country. It was the space, the light, the feeling of being somewhere so far from home, which I felt compelled to capture and share. 

I returned to England to quarantine during the worst lockdown, and in those first weeks of the year my studio remained in sub-zero temperatures with very little natural light. And yet I can only conclude this had an unexpectedly positive impact on my work. I surrounded myself with my largest paintings to date, perhaps trying to prove to myself that I hadn’t just woken up from a dream. I am so pleased to be able to share them with you in this exhibition. 

The entire exhibition can be viewed online at Alice’s website

Instagram: @aboggisrolfe_art