Parallel Lines of Enquiry
The Allsop Gallery Bridport Arts Centre, 2012.
Parallel lines of enquiry
Fiona Robinson’s drawings are known for their subtlety. They reveal themselves through repeated looking just as her process itself slowly unfolds through time. Each re-viewing offers a greater depth of understanding and richness of experience in the same way that each re-reading of a text or each repeated encounter with a piece of music continues the process of discovery.
The Discords drawings are related to music, to the sound and vibration of plucked, bowed or struck strings. The lines originate from daily drawings in Ireland of the subtle change in colour delineating the point at which sea and sky meet. Horizon lines which gradually developed their own autonomy as they became more and more vertical. The work exists in parallel to the function of creative writing and of music as diverse as John Cage, Steve Reich or Plainchant as triggers for memory.
Work arising from Fiona Robinson’s Fellowship at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ireland in 2010 are exhibited alongside a short story by Alain Robbe-Grillet. Exploiting parallels between the repetition in her work and that of Robbe-Grillet she draws attention, in a wider context, to the connections between processes across different art forms.
Fiona Robinson: Extracts From the Journey Sequence
The Study Gallery’s Space at ‘Lighthouse’, Poole Centre for the Arts, Dorset 31 May – 5 July 08
Fiona Robinson’s exhibition moves most people entering the exhibition into a different state of being. The collective intrinsic qualities of the drawings and paintings exude a meditative state that prompts many to slow their pace and change their bearing, as if needing physically to express empathy with the qualities of the work.
Taken from the Journey Sequence 2007, the exhibition of abstract paintings and drawings also prompts acceptance of what they might be ‘about,’ by-passing the commonly expressed need to know what they are ‘of’.
Conceptually, these are beautifully edited and refined artworks. In different ways, the paintings and drawings express a lyrical sense of journeying, surveying, tracking and investigating territory and infer a timeless connection between walks and terrain now and in the past. Whether they embody or encapsulate personal, empathetic or subconscious references – or even specific genetic links – to particular geographic patterns of tribal exploration, migration and settlement is part of their mystery and ethereal quality. They are certainly the antithesis of narratives about journeys in the macho, adventurous sense.
Robinson achieves artistic communication though exquisite layering and control of line, tone and colour. Coloured surfaces are reminiscent of minerals, sea and sky; drawings executed on the gentlest of tonal surfaces are more map-like. Both are laid down as part of an inherent, improvised inter-play between the material, the recalled and existential. Ultimately, as finely resolved artworks, they have a rare purity and elegance.
Fiona Robinson won the 2007 Bath Painting Prize and was an ‘Invited Artist’ at the International Drawing Bienniale in Kosovo, Spring 2008. Previously she was a prize-winner at the 4th International Biennale of Drawing, Melbourne
The Journey Sequence 2007
New Greenham Arts Berkshire