Meet Robyn Rennie! Robyn creates intoxicating abstract paintings that vibrate with a radiant energy - each one a visual treat that engages the senses. Using various media to create texture and colour, her recent abstract body of work evokes a strong and beautiful experience for the viewer.
Read on to learn more about Robyn and her work!
Your art practice altered/evolved as a result of health issues – how has that impacted your creative process and subject matter? Describe your work and creative process?
I suffered a life-changing vision loss in 2005 which has changed how I experience the world. But while I continue to choose my subject matter from the natural world, visual impairment has freed me from my former style of highly-detailed expression. While I use the same medium and grounds, I now employ them to subvert popular assumptions about sight. One common stereotype about vision loss is that it results in more acute hearing, but in reality sight merely allows the brain to filter background noise so that we can attend to something specific. My abstract works challenge what we see by evoking other senses: For example, I want the viewer to be able to visually experience what we rationally know about colours by thinking about how they might taste, smell, sound, or, feel. I hope to impart that seeing beyond vision can open the door to understanding that so much of what we assume to be true is open to interpretation. I demonstrate this concept further by using iridescent and interference paints; even a slight shift in point of view changes the changes the viewer’s experience. Any form of new information can change a person’s perspective – visually and emotionally.
What are you currently working on and any upcoming events or exhibitions?
I just finished my design for the upcoming “Somniatis III”. I’m am currently working on my design for next year’s Streets Alive installation. as well as new work for the next “Feministo” show (Feministo is a group of female contemporary abstract artists that includes Patti Agapi, Catherine Cadieux, Stephanie Stanton, and myself).
As an Orillia Artist, what are your hopes for the continued growth and vitality of the Orillia Art Community?
Orillia is a dynamic arts community, and I am so honoured to be a part of the creative pulse of the city! I love that the City understands and supports the value that art has to our collective sense of self and community, as well as tourism. I could say that I hope there will be continued opportunities for public art installations and growth for the artists of Orillia, but I know that will happen. It is already happening!
Much of your photography work and paintings resonate in a similar way - there is a microcosmic view there - are you drawn to abstraction and wee details? What inspires you?
My father taught me to appreciate details in nature, a Kildeer bird's nest on the ground, how the pattern of the eggs mimicked the earth and stones they lay on or the beautiful jewel of a Monarch butterfly chrysalis and watching it's transformation into a wondrous butterfly, or being awakened in the middle of the night when my father arrived home from work to take me outside to see the Aurora Borealis moving in the sky looking like ethereal curtains swaying to their own universal music. I guess you could say my brain was wired as a young child to appreciate the nuances of pattern and light. Of course photography is all about the light, but that's what intrigues me the most, every single day of our lives the light is never the same. Playing with that light, sometimes distorting it, smoothing it out, seeing the shapes it creates excites my brain, gives me those feel good endorphins and people do feel a response to the abstractions. I love when people tell me that they are much more aware of their surroundings because of my photos. I decided to try another artistic medium a couple of years ago so I've tried different forms of painting. Acrylic pour is just what it sounds like, the only control you have of the paint are the colours you use, the amount of paint and manipulation of the canvas to move the paint around. It was very freeing, not knowing how the abstract painting would look until it was dry.
When did you begin your photography journey?
My earliest memory of taking photographs was on a school trip at the age of nine, using an old box camera. Photography started to become a passion when I started working at a local photography studio in 1983 as front counter staff. I was taught picture framing as well as darkroom tasks, making black and white prints from photographic film. I bought my first SLR film camera at that time and from then on a camera was always within reach.
Where can we find your work?
I am currently a member of Tango Artspace at 5 Peter St. S. in the Orillia Arts District.. You can also see my work on Facebook or Instagram as Linda Plourde Creative.
What are you currently creating? What's on your studio table?
Well, my studio is my kitchen table where I'm now playing with resin, using it in painting and making jewellery as well as various objects and my drying/assembly studio is a table in the livingroom! I don't mind that my house has been taken over by art but I am starting to run out of room!
FIND Linda and her creative pursuits online here:
ALL artwork photos by Linda Plourde
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