ROD has a new exhibition of ‘escapist’ paintings that began as a reaction to his life in lockdown.

The brightly coloured work explores mythology, symbolism and delves into memory, with animals and half-human creatures taking centre stage.

Rod, who is artist-in-residence in a former shop at the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre in Rotherhithe, south-east London, which is also his gallery where he works with the public and often paints their portraits, opens his latest show, Blue Lotus, from October 28 to November 7.

“During lockdown I couldn’t go into my studio or invite people over to my apartment to paint their portraits, so I started having fun painting over old life drawings, and it developed into something more solid over time,” he said.

The exhibition is made up of 30 paintings, some of them larger than 1m in size. The non-realistic style in ink and oil paint marks a departure from Kitson’s representational painting to a more imaginative approach.

Rod alongside 4 pieces of his Blue Lotus exhibition on a white wall
Crow by Rod Kitson Vault of the Sky by Rod Kitson