Rona Summer

Working from photographs, Rona uses a monochromatic palate of oil on canvas to create stylised images of figures often bathed in ghostly hues of pinks, purples and blues. The exhibition showcases a body of work entitled Recapturing a Certain Youth alongside Rona’s most famous and highly controversial Bullingdon Painting.

Rona’s Bullingdon Painting is created from a photograph dating from the mid 1980’s that features members of the elitist Oxford University dining club known as The Bullingdon Club. The image includes David Cameron, Boris Johnson and other now leading Tory party members. The Bullingdon Club was notorious for it’s bad behaviour and therefore the photograph became potentially damaging for the Conservative Party and their ‘former-Bullingdon’ members. The Bullingdon photograph made headlines in 2007 when it was officially withdrawn by the copyright holders. In response to this, BBC Newsnight commissioned Rona to create a painting of the infamous scene. The O3 Gallery is proud to present the original Bullingdon Painting by Rona which featured in numerous national newspapers and television programmes.

The paintings that make up the series Recapturing a Certain Youth are made from photographs taken in the 1950’s and are inspired by the artist’s mother. Rona describes her artwork as an opportunity to explore “the inner psyche and capture a particular mood”.

Originally from Toronto, Rona now lives in Oxford and is Deputy Chair of the Oxford Art Society. Her formal training took place at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada. She has had solo shows in Toronto, Ottawa, Tokyo, London and Oxford. .