Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Robyn Gordon- art from Africa

Today, meet an artist from South Africa. When I 1st saw Robyn's work it touched a deep chord in me. Pagan and pure, there was something about her work that was very elemental. Carved in wood her totems and figures spoke the language of the earth. Her blogger profile reads: "I am an artist who earns a living by carving wooden totems and panels. I live with my husband and daughter ....and two quirky dogs in a South African suburb surrounded by hills and forest. Art is my passion. When I'm not creating I am thinking about it."
And here's an (email) interview with the hugely talented Robyn. And Thanx Robyn for your beautiful & honest answers.

Artnlight: Can you tell me something about your work, what it is and what you want to convey through it?
Robyn: At the moment I am carving wooden relief sculptures. I strive to keep my work different to what is out there but I'm defnitely influenced by the tribal art of Africa as well as tribal art world wide. On the one hand I want to convey a feeling of ancient tribes with stories to tell and on the other a love for gathering which I think is an instinct alive in most of us.

Artnlight:There is so much soul in your work, Is this the kind of work that you always did or have u come to this after a while?
Robyn: I've been carving since I was about 8. On the farm where I spent most of my growing up there was no electricity, TV etc. so my mom started carving in the evenings by lamp light. She didn't really enjoy it but I loved it and the rest is history.The type of carving I'm doing now has been evolving for a while but it was only after experiencing a long fallow period that this style of carving suddenly blossomed. It became my meditation where I could lose myself for hours and feel as if I was connecting with something bigger, deeper....if that makes sense.

A:What drives & motivates you to do your work?
R: Not only is it relaxing for me but very healing and I'm absolutely passionate about what I'm doing. It's my means of self expression and for the first time in my life I'm not just doing art to make a living or fit in with what people want or expect. I'm now doing exactly what appeals to me ...for me. "This door is my representation of a secret portal behind which ancient secrets are kept. In Africa there are many secret portals where objects used for rituals and ceremonies are hidden. Masks, reliquaries and sacred vessels are often only brought out during ceremonies and rituals. Sometimes sacred objects are viewed only by those who have proper rank and knowledge to do so."- Robyn

A:What is the one thing you like about your art the most?
Robyn: I suppose it's the fact that everything I've ever learned in an art sense is coming into my work. Nothing has been wasted. ...and that goes for all my collected treasures too. All the things I've collected over the years from beaches, forests, flea markets, scrapyards etc can all be used in my work. I love the fact that I am using things that are often thrown away and giving them a new life.


Some of the work for Robyn's exhibition in June 2007. All sold.

I felt terrifically drawn to these 'collections' which are such an integral part of a lot of her figure work.
Just look at the detailing, the human figures, the animals the shells, bottles and buttons.

Love the way they look against the stone wall. One day outside my studio among my plants I will aspire to have Robyns art (fingers crossed)

And I love her angel
Standing proudly and gracefully in her garden. So very beautiful.
Read her blog here. And browse through her flickr stream here.

26 comments:

writer said...

oooooooooooh, awesome. i'm lovin' it.

~mE said...

WOW...this is really good. I loved it vin

Paavani said...

simply superb Work!!!
Thanks for sharing this interview!

pink dogwood said...

I wish I could quit my work, pack my family, move next to Robyn and become her student :) I absolutely love her work.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I love Robyn for her creative spirit. I love her work; like a visual prayer. Although I follow Robyn’s blog, I learned more about her here. And I loved seeing a lot of her work all at once. Thank you for this excellent interview!

Gunjan Pai said...

vin, i have come on to ur site after the longest time - i m just soooo proud of u vin, dat i have no words - that every single blog of us is awesomely engaging and brilliantly beautiful to look at is a given, but the very fact that u have so indepth and regular about it is amazing and verrrrry inspirational - i m proud of u, and feel privileged to even know u

Aditi said...

beautiful!!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

This work is superb - I am familiar with Robyn's blog as I read it regularly, but to see all her work gathered together is wonderful - what a talented lady.

Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

Wonderful interview!

I am visiting for the first time and loving it. The colors and textures in your header grabbed me from the start.

Now, I'm sitting back with my cup of coffee enjoying a good read and eye candy!

mansuetude said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. I have learned more about the soulful Robyn whose blog i love, which often showcases others' art work, and not just her own.

I love the interview.

Katherine said...

I love Robyns work. I found her on Flickr. Thank you for featuring her lovely work I hadn't seen some of it. Wonderful reading her interview. I think this is a great idea doing an interview on your blog. I may have to do it! You have a wonderful blog!

Patricia Torres said...

OMG!!! WOW!! Amazing..

bindu said...

I absolutely love Robyn's work. The pictures are awesome, the actual pieces must be even better.

pRiyA said...

Robyn's work is magnifient. Its lovely to see so much of it here in one post. I had no idea now big they were until I saw some of the pics here. Ufff! Wonderful!!

vineeta said...

Thanx everybody for all the comments here, and wish u a warm welcome- for all of you who are new to my blog. I am completely floored by this response & I mustn't be surprised, it is not everyday that an artist of Robyn's calibre gets featured here. I was really thrilled when she agreed to being featured here & when I sent across the questions, she replied instantly.
I loved what Leslie Miller Avon calls her work "visual prayer" so true. There is a very definite element of the sacred in all of Robyn's work.

vineeta said...

Gunj, I'm so glad to see you've seen so much that's happening here. We've both been so busy & a big hug for thinking and saying what you just did, you've completely made my day :)

theresa martin said...

thanks for the interview - Robyn's work is beautiful and her blog is always an interesting good read.

Karin said...

I couldn't agree more with your admiration of Robyn's work and desire for one of her pieces outside your studio! What a great interview and wonderful exploration of that artist and her work. Thanks! Karin

Lakshmi -Celebrations of Life said...

so much of information gathered vineeta.You really take pains in putting up posst.very sincere,i should tell you.lovely interview.Thanks for introducing an artist to us.good work.

Seth said...

I love Robyn's work and her blog. So glad you interviewed her. I really enjoyed learning more about her background, motivation. and passion. Thanks!@

Robyn said...

This has been such a thrill thanks Vineeta. The feedback is amazing. I found the totem link so interesting too.

azirca said...

Robyn's work is amazing, she certainly is gifted.
Thanks for the wonderful interview.

vineeta said...

Thanx everybody for dropping by and leaving a comment. Robyn is a phenomenal artists & I truly think it is my privilege that I stumbled on her work & met her and her amazing network of fellow artists through this post. In one go I have met so many different and talented artists. Happiness! :)

bhumika said...

"visual prayer" - that's just the perfect description for Robyn's work. So glad you featured her. Thank you Vineeta.

I'd love to have that angel for my garden :)

Gwen Buchanan said...

oh this is wonderful.. I am so happy you profiled Robyn ... she is an amazingly sensitive artist...I admire her greatly! her well is very deep...

Catherine said...

I so enjoyed this interview with Robyn, although I have only come across it now. I am a regular to her blog and am lucky enough to own a small totem of hers. Wonderful work full of spirit and integrity. Thank you for sharing with us all.