Dive into Martinich’s emotionally charged colourscapes

February 25, 2024 BY

The Jan Juc-based painter is best known for her large-scale public works. Photos: CARLI WILSON/STILL SMITHS

Internationally renowned abstract artist Rowena Martinich will exhibit a new collection of vibrant works in Geelong over the next three weeks.

The Jan Juc-based painter is best known for her large-scale public works, dynamic use of colour and high-profile commissions which include work with Nike, Mecca Cosmetica, Bombay Sapphire and Dulux.

Abstract expressionist painter Rowena Martinich.


Her latest body of work, Summer Electra, is named for her daughter and is comprised of large, multicoloured brushstrokes, splashes of paint and hazes of spray – processes Martinich describes as experimental but practiced.

“The palates in them are quite coastal,” she said.

“There are beautiful aquas and soft pinks, what you might imagine a sunset over the ocean might look like.”

Balance is created by pairing luminescent fluros with soft tones, and each piece is heavily layered with fine details that reveal themselves upon deeper inspection.

“I’m a colourist and at the end of the day, that’s what my work is all about: emoting the viewer through the use of colour,” she said.

“With my work, I want it to be memorable and people to almost be immersed in it and saturated by it.

“I want them to feel like they’re bathed in the painting and part of the painting.

“The way the works are made, I actually put the canvases out on the floor and walk through them as I’m painting them.

“There’s quite an immersive process to the making of these works and then the scale of them as finished pieces become immersive viewing experiences.”

Each piece comprises sweeping brushstrokes, hazes of spray and smatterings of confetti-like paint.


The exhibition is housed at the expansive Big Boom extension of Boom Gallery and will run until March 17.

Although reflective of her inner emotional processes, Martinich invites viewers to attach their own meanings to the artwork.

“The idea is that these paintings, being full of life and energy, represent life outside the painting studio.

“They’re purely abstract in creation but I feel like people will give their own dialogue to the work.”

Big Boom, Boom Gallery is at 5 Rutland Street, Newtown and is open 10am-3pm, Monday-Saturday.

For more information, head to boomgallery.com.au