Longford artist Gary Robinson. Photo: Luke Danniells
Longford artist Gary Robinson was in the spotlight on Saturday, January 26 last, when he joined the reclusive and eminent artist John Kingerlee in a very special talk in Dublin at the launch of a joint exhibition by the creative duo in the Origin Gallery.
One of Gary's contemporaries, artist and friend David Newton, in an essay compared Gary's work to music.
“Imagine loose and unclear ideas streaming out a trumpet across a time and a place just like notes floating around as a jazz player riffs along in a relaxed manner with a set of bleating sounds,” Newton explains.
“This is the expanding logic and directionless sense of movement that Robinson says he seeks in his art. He shared with me that this same sought sense of flow is embodied in a fragment of a line from a poem by Seamus Heaney: 'Here and there and now and then...'”
Later in his essay, Newton says that Robinson “speaks of sensations, and ideas seem to graduate from left to right like musical notations existing within his scratchings and calligraphies”.
“In a Robinson painting, the viewer can find a truthful sense of surrendering, as Robinson's work hones in on new orders and forged coherences of his innermost dialogues about life's unclear directions, mantra-like repetitions and quietly-taken breaths.
“This type of artwork certainly makes one pause as it contains comforting truths about the way our lives are lived in our momentary moments, with one breath taken per moment, with one squiggly line captured as it is squiggled onto the canvas in a way similar to a beat in a song being beaten out.
“In each of Gary Robinson's recent works, one feels each painting walks its own way towards itself, innocently, meandering along a legitimately crooked line without a set order or formula,” Newton continues.
“He breathes as he walks. His work moves from one side to the other and then back again to start all over again. He walks as he breathes.
“His works do not hurry us toward anything specific, just as he will not be hurried. They simply allow us, too, the relieved viewers, to breathe in and out our own breaths, as he does. This art by Robinson encourages us to take in this needed oxygen, to hear these personal beats and to experience our own sense of wonder at the resultant marks.
“The whole body of work stands together as a coherent yet soft-toned message about how marks are being shaped into a quietude regarding a calm that is resembling a breath not at all unlike a drum beat.
“His work together culminates into a set of soulful dirges sung in the registers of softly-taken footsteps and of quietly-drawn breaths. Robinson's mark-markings, compositional decisions and the aesthetical effects are firmly rooted in the view that his art is a logic, just as music is a logic, too.”
Gary's latest exhibition can be viewed at the Origin Gallery in Dublin until the end of the week. See www.theorigingallery.com for more.