Exhibition of Portraits

by Marina Kim

At Roche Gallery

Article by Jo’ Vincent

The snowstorm and Wintery Breezes did not prevent art lovers attending the opening of the Marina Kim Portrait Exhibition at Roche Gallery, 93 High Street, Rye.

The event was well attended by enthusiastic patrons of whom several commissioned to have their portraits painted by Kim. This came as little surprise to me as the first painting I viewed upon entering the gallery was that of Tim Roche, Kim’s husband whom I recognised immediately, then, when I ventured into the rear gallery there was a portrait of Richard Mwanga who recently returned to Kenya but it was as if he were here in the room about to break into his familiar smile and greet me!

Richard Mwamga by Marina Kim
Richard Mwamga by Marina Kim

I’m sure most of you know Richard whom The Rye Wheeler’s are attempting to raise monies for his education here, with the goal for him to then return to Kenya as a teacher, and for those of you who do not know him. I hope you had the opportunity to visit Roche Gallery and viewed the two portraits. The one in his blue shirt, titled “Richard in Blue”, shown in the photograph above demonstrates Kim’s unique ability to achieve a psychological expressiveness, not just in the character of her subjects, but also in her own emotional response to them. I was struck by the strong feeling of emotion that I personally encountered in response to the obvious bond that the painting revealed, between Kim, and her subject Richard, a unique, powerful, yet sensitive young man.

The painting says it all, and if you saw the portraits of Richard, you will surely know him.

Marina graduated from the Republican Art College in Tashkent where she set up her first gallery then moved to London where she had her first big exhibition at the Arndean Gallery in Cork Street, Mayfair. In 2001, she moved with her husband Tim to Rye where they opened the Roche Gallery one year ago in February. Happy Anniversary to you all at Roche Gallery!