Kieran Rook

Kieran Rook, ‘Tome’, 2023. Photos by Ollie Harrop
Kieran Rook, ‘Tome’, 2023. Photos by Ollie Harrop
Kieran Rook, ‘Tome’, 2023. Photos by Ollie Harrop

Tome (2023)

Oil on canvas

In Kieran Rook’s painting, Tome, viewers are invited into a disturbing dream world. Combining exaggerated and disorienting narratives with symbolic iconography, depicting human characters, animals, and hybrid forms in familiar yet imaginary settings, Rook’s deliberate treatment of scale challenges reality, hinting at different time zones or planes of existence.

Within this surreal realm, the painting prompts contemplation of life’s cyclical nature, emphasising the importance of individual desire and perception in shaping our understanding of the world, encouraging viewers to embrace the complexity of their identities.

The artwork’s central metaphor is that of the labyrinth, symbolising life’s journey and the search for meaning and connection. Signalling this, the work’s title, Tome, suggests a profound exploration of knowledge and experience. The intricate composition evokes introspection and reflection, inviting viewers to navigate the complexities of existence.

Through Tome, Rook creates a visual experience that challenges narratives, encourages self-reflection, and celebrates the complex nature of human desire. As viewers probe into the symbolic labyrinth, they are invited to embark on an exploration of connections to their own place in the world

Kieran Rook specialises in installations, painting, film, sculpture, and sound art. Working with immersive installations that involve wall-based works, floor pieces, sculptures, screens, and sounds. Creating alchemy by combining various sculptural installation aesthetics with time-based mediums and sound art compositions to create exaggerated and disorientating artworks.

In the past year, Kieran’s focus has shifted towards merging film and painting mediums, evolving from a foundation of exaggerated and disorienting narratives cultivated from a deep fascination with the intricacies of human desire and the ways in which they intersect with symbolism. Exploring themes of culture, consumerism, artifice, and subversion within the collective lived experience. By incorporating everyday objects and constructed sets made from recycled materials and repurposing them in unexpected ways to explore themes of desire, identity, and the complex relationship between individuals and the contemporary consumer culture. His artworks are characterized by a vibrant and surreal aesthetic, where he juxtaposes familiar and often nostalgic symbols to create new subverted hybrid narratives.