Fiona Robinson

    Based in Dorset, Fiona Robinson is an Academician of the Royal West of England Academy (2012) and a Fellow of the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Co. Mayo, Ireland. Awards include the Drawing Prize at the Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition (RWA) Bristol (2011), first prize in the University of Bath Painting Prize (2007), and third prize at the 4th International Biennale of Drawing in Sydney, Australia (2007). She has been shortlisted for the Derwent Drawing Prize (2016), the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2012), the Cheltenham Drawing Prize (1998), and Rabley Contemporary Sketch Prize (2005 and 2011). Recent exhibitions include: 'Drawing Debussy' (2017) and 'Drawn' (2016) at RWA, Bristol; ‘Prime Matter’ at The Drawing Museum Laholm, Sweden (2015); Royal West of England Academy Open Exhibition, Bristol (2015); ‘Anonyme Zeichner’ Berlin and European tour (2013); ‘Art and Music’, Royal West of England Academy and Hauser and Wirth Somerset (2015); ‘Illuminating the Future’, Christies, London (2014); ‘ParisCONCRET’, Paris (2014); Masters Projects New York (2014). She was a selector for ‘Drawn’, the Biennial Open Drawing Exhibition at the RWA in 2014, and co-curated a major exhibition, ‘Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter’, at RWA Bristol in 2017. Her work is held in public and private collections in the UK, Ireland, Europe and Australia.

    Statement
    I make drawings that reference landscape, architectural spaces, music and literature, focusing on the relationship between repetition, process and denouement across different art forms. Recent work prioritises music, looking at the interaction between sound, mark-making and diverse drawing materials.

    Between 2010 and 2012, my horizontal lines inspired by landscape began to destabilise and change direction, becoming increasingly abstracted and related to music. Crucial to this development were studies made while listening to John Cage’s pieces for prepared piano. I soaked lengths of string in Chinese ink and plucked them against heavy hand-made paper, the sound of which became a significant element in the process. Controlled timing balanced the relinquishing of control evident in the splattered marks and echoed the deliberate randomness of John Cage’s aleatoric (chance) compositions. This immersion in music led to drawings based on Pablo Casals’ interpretation of Bach’s ‘Suites for Unaccompanied Cello’, again searching for balance between freedom and control. Listening to the music on repeat allowed certain phrases to emerge as imperatives, so that speed, repetition and layering dominated the work.
    In 2014 I returned to the horizontal and John Cage, through his 1948 piano piece ‘In a Landscape’. I also made two series of drawings of sound in specific spaces, again exploring a sense of place: Notes from a Small Room responds to Gustave Fauré’s ‘String Sonata in A’ and the echoes of the music within a small studio, while Snatched Moments is a short film of close-up stills of drawings done at Chateau d’Oiron in France, set to Debussy’s lyrical piece ‘Reverie’. The drawings in the film were made in different spaces inside the Chateau, referencing the fabric of the building, its narratives and the sounds of Gavin Bryars’ site-specific music ‘The Listening Room’, which was recorded on location at Oiron. These two projects ran parallel to an ongoing collaboration with British contemporary composer Julian Leeks, each of us making work in response to the other’s practice. I am currently exploring the connections between the music of Claude Debussy and The Waves by Virginia Woolf.

    Links
    www.fionarobinson.com
    www.blankspacebooks.wordpress.com
    www.fionarobinsonwritings.wordpress.com

    View CV →

    Partita 5, 2013, charcoal, graphite and mixed media on Arches HP 300g, 76 x 56 cm

    Partita 5, 2013, charcoal, graphite and mixed media on Arches HP 300g, 76 x 56 cm

     

    Fiona Robinson, Tangled Drifts, Debussy, 2016, graphite, charcoal and mixed media on paper, 38 x 58 cm

    Fiona Robinson, Tangled Drifts, Debussy, 2016, graphite, charcoal and mixed media on paper, 38 x 58 cm

     

     Fiona Robinson, Prelude 2, 2013, graphite, charcoal and mixed media on paper, 56 x 76 cm

    Fiona Robinson, Prelude 2, 2013, graphite, charcoal and mixed media on paper, 56 x 76 cm

     

    Rain Washed Horizon, 2011, pencil on paper, 101 × 137 cm

    Rain Washed Horizon, 2011, pencil on paper, 101 × 137 cm

     

    Partita 3, 2012, charcoal, graphite, chalk and wax on Arches HP 300g, 76 × 56 cm

    Partita 3, 2012, charcoal, graphite, chalk and wax on Arches HP 300g, 76 × 56 cm

     

    John Cage in a Landscape 1948, No 3, 2014, graphite, charcoal, chalk and wax, 56 × 76 cm

    John Cage in a Landscape 1948, No 3, 2014, graphite, charcoal, chalk and wax, 56 × 76 cm

     

    Bergamesque Suite Debussy, 2015, pencil and mixed media on paper, 80 × 113 cm

    Bergamesque Suite Debussy, 2015, pencil and mixed media on paper, 80 × 113 cm

     

    Notes from a Small Room – Fauré #5, 2014, graphite, charcoal, chalk and wax on paper, 38 x 56 cm

    Notes from a Small Room – Fauré #5, 2014, graphite, charcoal, chalk and wax on paper, 38 x 56 cm

     

    Premiere Arabesque 2, Debussy, 2016, mixed media, 38 x 58 cm

    Premiere Arabesque 2, Debussy, 2016, mixed media, 38 x 58 cm

     

    John Cage in a Landscape 1948, No 4, 2014, graphite, charcoal, chalk and wax, 56 × 76 cm

    John Cage in a Landscape 1948, No 4, 2014, graphite, charcoal, chalk and wax, 56 × 76 cm

     

    Fifth Nocturne, 2011, graphite, charcoal and mixed media, 64 x 64 cm

    Fifth Nocturne, 2011, graphite, charcoal and mixed media, 64 x 64 cm

     

    JS Bach, No 33, 2011, graphite, charcoal and mixed media, 45 x 45 cm

    JS Bach, No 33, 2011, graphite, charcoal and mixed media, 45 x 45 cm

     

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