My artwork is about experience, both public and private. My own experience of making the work is sometimes at the center of the piece, such as in some of my laborious, handmade works. In those pieces, the process of making, the meaning of time versus labor, and the appearance of the artist’s hand in the work, take centre stage. Other times, I begin with my work and then offer it outward by inviting the viewer to become a participant in the labor, to devote some of their own time to the project, to include their hand in the final piece. Sometimes I step back once the piece has begun and almost obliterate my own presence so that the project can be carried along by the experiences of others. I become a catalyst between the idea and the viewer – the spark that sets the work in motion but then gets dissolved in the process.
What this actually looks like varies. It has looked like a mile-long, handknit road stripe laid on a street in Dallas, TX. It has looked like a house museum for tourists and locals to interact on the western coast of Newfoundland. It has been hand-dyed, handspun yarn knit into hats by people of all ages and backgrounds, shared among each other and with homeless women and children in the Bronx. It was over five kilometers of handknitting installed by a highway in South Korea and a handmade fun house created in a university gallery in South Dakota.
Most of my work over the past 15 years has been increasingly outward-looking even to the point where the artwork is entirely dependent on the participation of the audience and my presence is no longer necessary or visible. Now I am curious if a similar result can be created via more inward-looking means. Can the materials themselves take on and retain the history of the hands that make the work? Can the story be told through the reliquary of material?
Robyn Love is an artist who lives and works in Newfoundland, Canada. She received a BFA from Cooper Union in New York City in 1988. Love has exhibited at galleries and museums internationally. She participated in the prestigious Artist in the Marketplace program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts and she has received numerous project grants to create new work from foundations and public agencies. Her site-specific projects include a New York City Percent for Art commission for the High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety in Jamaica, Queens, NY, a five kilometer-long handmade installation in Cheongju, South Korea, and a large-scale, multimedia installation titled The House Museum in Newfoundland. Love received a Canada Council Project Grant in 2009. She has presented her participatory performance piece, SpinCycle, at The Brooklyn Museum in New York City, Northern University in Abderdeen, South Dakota, and at the ICCA in Inverness, Nova Scotia. In 2017, she is launched a video series titled Small Things Brought Together and, in 2018, a CSA program for sharing art directly with people worldwide.