Robyn Gordon- art from Africa

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

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.

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