[www.jamesrobinson.co.nz] [writing] [painting]


this is my email contact hemiking8@gmail.com
painting link above has a small set from the last series
from southland nz.


ive been makieng art for 25 years and have shown in a broad range of public gallerys and museums and dealer gallerys and artist run spaces in nz and australia.

2007 i won the wallace award with a developmnetal residency at ISCP studios in new york city.
although surviving in south island is more relitivly important.

i normally work in port chalmers duendin in the south island of new zeland. but have worked and shown in many various other centres with residencys and scholarships. for example

auckland mchcaon house in 2007
berlin takt residency 2008
whanganui tylee cottage 2009
southland william hodges residency 2013
and currantly dunmoochin foundation melbourne victoria

i process our existential and metaphysical modernity.
with awareness conscience and inventive mixed media processes that have resonance with a inbedded spiritual experience of being in the material world..as it is.
on this ...bi polar sphere...under apothocene and human asylum


Barbara Speedy
The Diversion Gallery
5A Ground Floor, 10 London Quay, Picton
(waterfront, Picton)
Postal: PO Box 558 Picton 7250
Tel +64 +274 408 121
Landline: +64 +3 5739069
email bspeedy@thediversion.co.nz

"PROCESS (skins)"

( gallery re opening in feb 2015)

192 Bealey Ave
Christchurch 8013
New Zealand
Phone: +64 3 366 8487


accompanying the southland exhibition that is on now "paintings from the end of the world"

‘the stress fractures of this society’s body politic coming apart on us.’
(David Eggleton)
James Robinson’s paintings recombine shards of a vision, the representation of which has required its own destruction, to create works of resonance and maturity.
Something has happened here under the surface: a battle or a riot, leaving debris. Destabilising forces of anxiety driving clashes of paint and canvas are countered by
an art that channels chaotic raw materials into vibrant fields of balance and control.
In Southland, the relationship between man and nature is of primary importance, nature being the loveliest as well as the harshest thing we know. The artistic terrain of this work might be said to be of southern character: discerning, uncompromising, resilient. Respectful of the authentic, grounded here.
The idea of ‘home’ suggests recognition and belonging, a secure location that connects with, and provides shelter from, the outside world. If ‘home’ is Southland, to look inside these paintings might take us to the core of Robinson’s art, as if to the heart of the landscape.
Art takes place in the here and now. Robinson’s artistic development is evident in the ‘shedding of skins’, a process of getting to the point and taking responsibility. There’s a desire to rejig, to simplify. The paintings pare away what is unnecessary in a search for integrity and harmony.
What you see in a painting is your business. It’s good business, a vital circuit running between the observer and the thing observed, continuously created and resolved by our interactions with the art. For instance, these ad hoc constructions of pre-stressed materials gathered from the extreme edge of experience: tracking inwards, we might find we’re looking at some minutiae of nature and human life magnified way out of scale. Stepping back, it is apparent that the fragments compose themselves into coherent fields.
The poets of Te Waipounamu have in common an uncompromising attitude, clarity of vision, discipline and an enduring relationship with the land. I think the poetry of Richard Reeve makes a good accompaniment to the flavours offered here. The quotes
in italics are from his 2004 collection, The Life and the Dark.
What you make of a painting depends on where you’re coming from. ‘Entry’ could be read as a fragment of ruined mural of great antiquity, a palimpsest through whose layering intention and meaning have become blurred and rendered inaccessible. On the other hand, a very different imaginative journey might be prompted by the poet’s perception: ‘this rained shadow of ourselves, set free/ Like sunlight among reeds,// Quivers among the forest and the rock.’
The title of ‘Oblivion’ suggests catastrophe and annihilation or, conversely, the intimate patterns and colours of rock or gemstone inside the earth, ‘locked in its state/ of inscrutable/ being’.
Fortuitous, minute treatments of texture in ‘Datastorm’ convey a comment on the frenetic digital environment. Or they represent some patchwork satellite photography of strange terrain, on earth or elsewhere. Or they are simply intuitive and pragmatic arrangements of natural elements, their shapes and shadows (the view is fractured) in colours of water, air and rock. Lessons in ‘unlearning the diocese of mind’.
The cut, distressed surface of ‘Crisis’ is like the skin of an abraded, scarified survivor, a shocking remnant of collapsed civilization, in a work operating at the margins of aesthetics and sense. Yet Reeve’s lines, ‘each drubbed, bare stump is perpetual,/ part of the coeval/ light/ that/ is’ bring to mind the weird light of deep bush, the hard going, natural muck and effort of encounters with the land, core mysteries of time and matter. That light ‘flickering over drought-runted rocks/ its there-am-I, faceless/ investigations:/ grinding, grappling the rust-pricked pleat/ in alluvial granite/ ore’.
Robinson’s vocabulary of textural accident reflects the intense engagement of the artist with perennial questions of how to live, paint, be. Whether his works are read as abstract metaphysical forms or as elemental mark-making, as chance arrangements or as sophisticated explorations of technique, the subtle rhythms of his elements produce an overall impression of natural elegance.
Questions raised by encounters with wilderness deepen understanding to bring about a grounding, of sorts. The sloughing of skins allows new growth. Robinson’s art is resilient, intuitive and able to discipline the impulse to put colour, line, texture and shape there, like this. Harsh conditions, as our fishermen know, breed a toughness of soul and a feeling of ‘home’.
Cilla McQueen

  Designed by Hamish Morgan [hamish_iam(at)yahoo.co.uk]  
  admin - stats