Robyn Burgess - 'The Panic Room'
Wednesday 4 - Sunday 29 July 2018
In the small painting The Panic Room, a girl from the 19th Century sits within a painting from the 20th Century. She turns the pages of a book about Rothko. Burgess is not sure why she made this painting. Anticipation and fear are closely linked in the artist’s world; bravery and doubt walk hand in hand, all has been done before; in wonderment, she entitled the painting, The Panic Room.
Burgess' paintings often carry feelings and observations of foreign countries she has visited. For decades, she has foraged a relentless interest in architecture; the silence and stillness therein alongside the order, geometry and the traversing of space that is architecture’s mainstay. These are paintings that are concerned with the history, conventions and problematics of making a painting. A large part of her time is consumed by making mediums for variations of admixtures to paint and other materials.
There is a looking back at history – a way of learning and then a way to understand and generate new ideas.
Burgess is on the edge of decision – between figuration, observation and abstraction and she believes that it may be permanent. There is such a range of works; the architectural grid works, the figurative works on paper, large and small oils and the large seemingly abstract dot paintings. Binding them all is an all over strategy of picture making.
What the works do share are many layered and laboured surfaces. They are the texture of duration; the medium becomes the message. Images can be buried underneath and not because they are faulty. Nearly always, the final layer carries most of the artist's hopes and aspirations of the freshness of the new first time – not an endless regurgitation of the same things.
Perhaps, there lies the necessity of escape in the solitude of the studio; in there, juggling a carefully achieved randomness has become more intriguing and complex than ever before. Nevertheless within that studio, love is amplified, the world seems even more troubled .The work begins, obsessions remain constant; the image and arrangement of space appears and time is suspended.