Had unconventional educational background, missing formal schooling from age seven.
Took up photography at the age of seven.
First job as photographer’s assistant at age 15. Also worked as stills photographer in the film industry.
At St Martin’s School of Art studied under sculptors Anthony Caro and Philip King before transferring to Painting where met Gerald Laing and became interested in Pop Art. Gained NDD in Painting.
Important turning points: reading Colin Wilson’s “The Outsider” (leading to many other sources of reading), hearing Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” and visiting exhibition of Frances Bacon’s work, all within a few months of each other. These experiences formed a potent mix that was to have a profound effect on thinking, work and life in general.
Married ceramist Diana Coleman.
Taught Art and introduced Photography and Art History courses at East Berks College of Further Education, Windsor.
Acquired studio in Windsor.
Appointed Head of Department and designed and edited a BA-level course at WGIHE now the Metropolitan University, Swansea.
Attended the Royal College of Art and was awarded a Masters degree in Photography.
Through the RCA met Bill Brant and Eduardo Paolozzi both of whom made a strong impression.
Became interested in the parallel realities of three-dimensional form and the photographic image.
Produced a large body of work which combined space form and image culminating in a major exhibition at the, Royal Photographic Societies, Centre of Photography entitled, Loves & Vanities. This exhibition was shown widely in the UK and also in Paris and Rotterdam.
Appointed Head of Foundation and part-time BA Fine Art and Critical Studies at University of the Arts, London before transferring to Photography, where co-designed and -edited MA and revised BA in Photography at The University of the Arts London.
Moved to new studio in Fitzrovia Central London and formed ARC Studios partnership with friend, photographer and academic, Sue Atkinson.
Left academia (except for occasional talks and master classes).
Produced a whole new body of work entitled “Two Kinds of Being” which developed a new form of working the two-dimensional image and three-dimensional form into “ImageSculpture”.
Deepening interest in form and image led to a research program with the Royal College of Art. Awarded a PhD in Sculpture.
Awarded The Lloyd’s Millennium Commission. In its 300-year history Lloyd’s has a tradition of marking important events with an iconic portraits. The resulting ImageSculpture comprises a 360 degree image of the main trading floor (“The Room”) of the Lloyd’s Richard Rogers building. The structure, measuring 9.93 metres by 2.6 metres, is made up of eleven curved metal panels arranged in a semi-circle creating a bowl-like structure, thought to be the largest corporate image in existence.
Deeply moved by the events of 9/11. Set about building over twenty life sized sculptures entitled “Welcome To The Third Millennium” Installation now permanently installed at Broomhill Sculpture Park, Devon, England.
Together with Sue Atkinson opened ArcArt Gallery at ARC studios.
Currently, while, continuing working in all disciplines, work is becoming much more focused and is influenced by a mix of personal experience together with philosophical influences taking the form of wall mounted and free-standing pieces. Also creating maquette’s for new installations both purely sculptural and “ImageSculptures”. Pure photography still forms an important part of practice and currently involved with researching and shooting self-originated photographic projects dealing with both urban and rural issues together with a deeply personal project on an aspect of the 1st World War.
EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS
Royal College of Art, PhD, Sculpture
Royal College of Art, MA, Photography
University of Westminster, Diploma in Photography (PQE)
St Martins School of Art, National Diploma, Painting
ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE includes:
Currently: Director ArcArt Gallery, London,
Partner in ARC Studios, London
Previously: Head of Department at Central St Martin’s School of Art London (UAL)
Principle Lecturer: London College of Communication (UAL)
Head of Department, Metropolitan University Swansea (ex’WGIHE)
Visiting lecturer at The Royal College of Art, London
External Professional Adverser, Lancaster University 1992/5
Judge for both Sculpture and Photographic competitions.
Work exhibited in both solo and mixed exhibitions:
IBA Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London 1973
Concourse Gallery (Westminster University), London, (Solo) 1977
Creative Camera Gallery, London (Solo) 1978
Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool (Mixed) 1979
Protocol, London (Solo) 1983
RCA Summer Exhibition, London 1983
Liberty, London (Solo) 1983
Brixton Gallery, London (Mixed) 1984
Hazelroyd Gallery, Bradford (Mixed) 1984
Omell Galleries, London (Solo) 1984
The Ffotogallery, Cardiff, (Mixed) 1985
Hamilton’s, London – Finalist. Benson & Hedges Gold Award 1985
Contemporary Arts Gallery, Windsor. “Mike Roles” (solo), Feb. 1989
RCA Henry Moor Gallery. “The Compelling Eye” (mixed), 1989
The Special Photographers Gallery, London. (mixed), April 1989
Espace Guyot, Paris. “Mike Roles PhotoSculptures” (solo), Jan. 1990
Galerie de L’Image, London. (mixed), June 1990
Portfolio Gallery, London. “The Female” (mixed), May 1991
Royal Photographic Society National Centre of Photography, Bath. “Loves and Vanities” (solo) (first major showing of the complete body of work), June 1991
Atlantis Fine Art, London. “Loves and Vanities” (solo), July 1991
The Special Photographers Gallery, London. (mixed), Sep. 1991
Portfolio Gallery, London. (mixed), Nov. 1991
Portfolio Gallery, London. “Out of the Frame” (solo), 1992
RAM Gallerie, Rotterdam. “Rotterdam Biennale” (mixed), June 1992
Aberdeen City Art Gallery. “‘Fotofeis’ Scottish International” (mixed), Summer 1993
Royal College of Art, London, “’98 Sculpture Show” (Mixed) 1998
The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Gardens, Summer Show, Ockley, England.”Two Kinds of Being” 2000/01/02
ArtParks International “Two Kinds of Being”2001/02
The Royal Society of British Sculptors, Summer Show, London 2002/3
Broomhill Sculpture Park, Devon. “Welcome To The Third Millennium” 2003 – Permanent.
ArcArt “Two Kinds of Being”2004
ArcArt “Welcome To The Third Millennium” 2006
REVIEWS AND ARTICLES ON EXHIBITIONS AND THE WORK (in order of publication):
Atkinson, E.Sue. Mike Roles Photoconstructions at the Polytechnic of Central London. British Journal of Photography, February 24, 1978, p.121
Atkinson E. Sue. The Ready-made Reality. British Journal of Photography, February 23, 1979, p.180
Atkinson E. Sue. Viewed: Mike Roles Photoconstructions at The Creative Camera Gallery. British Journal of Photography, January 4, 1980, p.80
Downing, Beryl. Shopfront on Design. The Times, June 18, 1983
Atkinson E. Sue. Review: Royal College of Art, Master of Arts Degree Show. British Journal of Photography, July 8 1983, p.712
Downing, Beryl. Light of Imagination through the Camera’s Eye. The Times, July 30, 1983
Wordsworth, Chris. Editor, Cover + Looking Up. The Photographer, August 1983
Wordsworth, Chris. Editor, Cover + Out of the Frame. The Photographer, November 1985, pp.44-45
Gross, Josef. Hanna Hoch – The New Art Object. British Journal of Photography, September 18, 1987, p.1092 Gross, Josef. The Compelling Eye. British Journal of Photography, April 14, 1989
Arts Column. Sunday Telegraph, January 8, 1989
ID Magazine, April 1989
VSD (Paris), January 1990
Atkinson, E.Sue. “Loves and Vanities” at the Royal Photographic Society. BJP, June 20, 1991, p.2
Richards, Jane. Photography – Jane, Richards on Mike Roles’s moving photo-sculptures. The Independent, May 14, 1990
Professional Photography, July 1990
Taylor, Sue. “Howzat”. Photography, August 1990, p.46
Kodak Professional Magazine Gates, Paul. Editor Front and back covers + But…is it photography? Kodak Professional Magazine, Volume 5, Spring 1991, No.1, Vol. 5, Spring 1991
Richards, Jane. Jane Richards selects the best of the current crop of photographs on show around the country. The Independent June 11, 1991
The work was also included in BJP Annuals: 1990, 1991, 1992
British Journal of Photography, February 1992
Smith, Caroline. Mike Roles/Portfolio Gallery. What’s On?, February 1992
Wordsworth, Chris. Playing Roles. British Journal of Photography, November 20 1996, p.14
Dickie, Chris. Millennium Experience, A review of the Lloyd’s Commission, BJP 18 October 2000
Atkinson,Sue. Mike Roles, Welcome To The Third Millennium, Exhibition Catalogue 2007
Prof” Petherbridge Deanna “Cloning And Conceptualising: The Duality Of Mike Roles’Figurative Sculpture”
Essay April 2007
OTHER INTERESTS include:
The Visual Arts, 20th/21st Century Classical Music & Opera,
C19th/20th Philosophy, Good Food and Wine, Peace & quiet,
Good English pubs, English Ale, Good conversation,
Classic Sports cars, Independent Travel, Playing classical guitar,
Clay shooting, Squash, Fitness, Walking,
Vintage Cameras, 18th/19th Century Rural English Furniture.