- Inside the studio
The narrow terraced house in Queen Street where Roger had grown up became dedicated almost entirely to his art. He led a Spartan existence in the spaces that were left for living.
It was furnished with a large studio easel, a home-made contraption for holding large canvases, a small work surface, an Albion printing press and shelves that held his correspondence, photographs and found objects.
Undated. Mixed media on board, 19x15cm
Undated. Mixed media on board, 16x13cm
Collection of Philip Hughes
When visitors came, Roger would pull out paintings he had been working on, one at a time, manhandling them to the best viewing point near the bay window.
It was perhaps surprising that the atmosphere that prevailed in this jam-packed house and studio was not fraught or troubling. On the contrary, there was a sense of calm, generated by Roger’s reading of Buddhism.
Dreamtime of the Shaman
Undated, c. 1998. Mixed media, 28x30cm
Private collection. Courtesy of Gordon Hepworth Fine Art
Hidden secrets: Engine
1999. Mixed media on wood, 26x26cm
National Library of Wales
He used prime-quality canvases at times but he liked medium density fibreboard (MDF) because, unlike canvas, he could work into it. Some pieces were so dense with mark and texture that it was hardly right to call them ‘paintings’ at all.
Another presence in the studio was the large number of Roger’s sculptures, which he seldom if ever exhibited. Sculpture was an art-form in which he was entirely self-trained. In some pieces the influence of Moore and Arp predominated, but others were remarkably original.
Undated, c. 1998. Brass and copper, 4x6x2cm
Undated, c. 2000. Silver, 2x3cm
Collection of Cheryl Griffin