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. 

puppets in print

Some work for my studio walls, on newspaper to give the puppets a ready-made background. 


IMG_8960Hilary who deserves some fuller hair and a dress.


Thomas. A little finer-featured here than in reality.




Jackie. Still without a body, on her stand.





Me. “Do Something”.



pto, w and x

More from the Kitchen Wall Alphabet primer, to be included in an exhibition which is going on tour in November to China and Australia.


P.T.O The last fold on the first side.


The kitchen has seen at least a couple of marriages in its time, represented here by a Day of the Dead couple who live on the radio.



There’s a growing collection of wishbones on top of the microwave.


A cheat of an ‘X’ but an important one.


Also on the microwave is a Christmas cactus, an off-cut of one that my nana had 40 years ago.

things fall apart

christeningdressThings Fall Apart 60 cm x 40cm

A painting which has been brewing for a while, Things Fall Apart has been waiting for the right dress to paint.  I’ve had in mind a painting of a baby in a christening robe by Abigail Reed, a painting by Rachel Baes, La Naissance du Secret, and photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron. This dress, spotted in a window of a shop in Ghent, isn’t quite the right dress but is nearer than I’ve been in the last few years.

And a couple of small paintings of puppet heads seen on the same trip The intention is to have an audience of them high on a wall one day.

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