Carapace opens at The Artshop and Chapel

Carapace opens on 3rd February at the Artshop, Abergavenny.
“Our first exhibition of the year, Philippa Robbins’ Carapace, is an exhibition in which the artist gives us a glimpse into her imaginative world where a cat-wrecked jumper is cherished, a crow and its maker guard each other and the handmade puppets have their own passport photographs.

detail2A  detail from a drawing of a scene from Ravel’s opera for children L’Enfant et les Sortilèges. Has My Baby Been Good? 100cm x 140cm Conté on paper. 

mw3The Keepers of Caecarrog acrylic on board 60cm x 59cm

Themes which were introduced in Magical Thinking, of children’s clothing and of safe-keeping, are expanded upon in Carapace.
Philippa Robbins’ imagination is populated with corvids, “the dark stars of the bird world,” with puppets, imaginary worlds and relics of infancy which probe primal and uncanny dimensions, and recall the delights and fears of childhood.
Her paintings are hard-won and emerge after much editing and process, but drawing is always at the start of every piece of work and serves as an intimate clue to the workings of a mind which impresses with its sheer originality.  Elementary, common, childhood experiences are transferred into adult existence, not just through motifs and personal and scavenged imagery, but through her artistic mode of thought. Being so layered, the resulting works seem at once to be both removed from and more closely woven to their original subjects, like a pressed flower or a film still.  
Philippa Robbins lives and works in South Wales.  Born in London in 1964, she studied at LaSalle SIA, Singapore and then at Cardiff College of Art. Her work has been exhibited widely, nationally and internationally, in both solo and group shows. 

triforium exhibition at temple church

I have been invited to show a piece of work in the Triforium exhibition at Temple Church in October 2016. The exhibition celebrates 25 years of the Discerning Eye exhibition with work by previous major prize winners. The exhibition will  open to the public from Tuesday 4th October and run until Sunday 16th October 2016.  The venue will be the very special Triforium space at the historic Temple Church in central London. http://www.templechurch.com/

 

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like gold to airy thinness beat

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On holiday in Corfu , Dave spotted a couple of insect shells  attached to a wall and gave them to me.

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like gold to airy thinness beat

They are the exoskeletons of cicada nymphs which emerge from the earth after 17 years to hatch into winged cicadas, live briefly and die.

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The owner of our villa called them ‘dresses’, and the cleaner told me that the cicadas take these dresses off when they get too hot.

With a forthcoming exhibition already titled ‘Carapace’ in which dresses will be a recurring image, I knew that I would be drawing the cicada moults. I also thought that if I could find enough of them, I  could make a string of lights which would show off their translucency. I found just over 100.

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Once home, I bought some very fine LED lights on copper wire and, using the slit on the back of the shell from which the adult had emerged, fed the lights into the shed skins. They were glued in place and lacquered, and some six, very sticky hours later the string of lights was finished.

 

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The title, ‘Like gold to airy thinness beat’ was suggested by a friend and is taken from the John Donne poem ‘A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning’;

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.

 

long time, no post

This last week I have heard that I have been offered two solo shows next year.

The first, Carapace, will be at the Art Shop, Abergavenny early in the year.

 

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Carapace, 83 x 63, acrylic on board

The second show will be at MoMA, Wales, where the installation “Flock” will be shown in the Owen Owen gallery from 2nd December 2017 for 8 weeks until 10th February 2018. I shall be spending some time making more pieces in order to do the huge space justice.

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Detail of Flock when it was at the Art Shop and Chapel, Abergavenny.