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Figuratively Working...

From Lautrec to Louise Bourgeois there is a line that connects Robyn Neild’s interest in the linear drama of form and its relation to the spaces it will exist in.

Beginning in the energetic, exploratory pages of her sketch-book and finding texture and presence in the casting process, that secedes control from the artist and, in its exciting limitations, produces sculptures that are uniquely elegant and defy their metal making in the delightful lightness of their appearance.

THE FEEL OF THE FORM

Pick up one of Robyn’s figures and you cannot help but feel the rhythm of the hands that created them. The childhood hours spent plying clay, through the fingers, and the sketching of magazine models still resonates and informs the art of this incredible artist.

A highly successful professional career as a fashion illustrator for the likes of Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood and Vogue morphed into the desire for more 3D experiences, and with her chosen material - bronze - surprising many with its masculine associations, particularly when faced with the sensual delicacy of Robyn’s figures. Yet, hold one in your hand and the weight of bronze and its physical presence becomes apparent.

The silhouettes, shapes and the beauty of the artworks, fascinate on many levels, not least in the textural surfaces that reveal much of the making and the combination of natural materials that are intrinsic to their creation, with the daily walk to the studio often resulting in collected objects and materials that will find their ‘hidden’ place in the finished artworks.

MOMENTS OF MAGIC

All artists are journeying towards a state of unconscious creation with that magic moment, felt, when the art has created itself. Obviously hand made yet full of the soul of the creator, and informed by the years of practice, experimentation, mistake making and joyous discovery when ‘you’ know that what is made is finished.

Taking a look around Robyn’s studio one can’t help but be amazed by the mix of objects, tools and total clutter - a joyous sense of chaos from which her art emerges. It is a special place and one that completed the journey from commercial artist to sculptor, allowing her the freedom and time to create.

And ‘time’; the passing of hours, that sense of beautiful decay, provides a rich vein of inspiration, particularly with the shore boat series. A collection that fascinates the viewer with its apparent fragility, surprising many onlookers into believing the sculptures are made from twigs!

These delicate remains, like Robyn’s figures, are full of stories and rich in the landscape of Dungeness that inspired them. A strange, surreal and unique environment - once home to filmmaker, artist, gardener Derek Jarman, whose home on the beach is now ‘home’ to one of Robyn’s boats. A cyclic sense of how the world connects us through the joy of art.

LATEST AWARD: First prize for 3-D work at Wales Contemporary.

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