Abigail Robertson is an abstract artist working at the intersection of textiles and painting.
Through her practice Robertson explores the physicality of the Cornish coastline, charting passing moments of her lived experience into a map of stitched and dyed canvas. Tactile memories - the quality of light in a coastal studio, the intersection of horizon and sky - are translated and given dimension through the act of making. Deconstructed and re-joined into a patchwork of experiences, the canvas now presents a new understanding of place; a topography through which Robertson seeks to situate herself.
Performativity is central to Robertson’s practice. Working from sketches, the raw canvas is cut and dyed, the stained panels hanging heavy in her St Ives studio, before they are reassembled, sewn, stretched taut back across the frame. Like but unlike, these new panels form a reimagining of a whole. Although from the same cloth, each has experienced the artist’s hand, their form and colour defined by a momentary intention.
Freed from its frame, Robertson investigates the true physicality of the canvas. What was once a passive material now becomes activated by this bodily and instinctive exploration; transforming from flat surface to a 3D substance to be cut, handled and reconstructed. Given life as a new work, the sewn canvas is returned to the frame, full of the energy of creation.
The scale and dimension of the finished canvas fundamentally determines the final piece. Notions of up down, front back are challenged as Robertson engages physically with the square canvas, twisting, rotating and questioning its form until the last moment. Yet these explorations are not resolved within one canvas, instead they are returned to and expanded across a series of works, each piece informing the next. It is this dialogue of exchange between individual works and the collective, between materiality and intention, that defines Robertson’s experimental practice.
A graduate of Central Saint Martins, London, Abigail is now based in her hometown of St Ives, Cornwall.
Education: Central Saint Martins, BA (Hons) Fine Art, 2015 - 19
Solo Exhibitions: PZ Gallery: 10-15 September 2021. Parallel West Porthmeor: 2017
Group Exhibitions: Reflection Crypt Gallery, St Ives: 8-14 May 2021. Whites Studios Christmas Pop Up: December 2020. To My Twenties Old Central Saint Martins: 17-30 September 2020. not just a shop High Holborn: September - December 2019. Equinoxy Penbeagle Industrial Estate: September 2019. Show One: Art Central Saint Martins: May 2019.
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