Reverence is at the heart of my work. Reverence for materials, for place, for the act of creating. I make work that engages directly with where I find myself – the west coast of Newfoundland, a road in Dallas, TX, the #7 train in Queens, NY. Still, it is the people who live there who interest me most. I want to hear their stories. I want them to know that someone is listening, taking note, understanding that their story is important and necessary. Many times, I will use needlework techniques as a way of engaging with people. Humanity has a long history of people getting together to work with their hands and talk and I tap into this history as a format for beginning conversations. I use what is familiar as a way of getting permission to go deeper, to examine what might be tucked away, remembered less in the mind and more in the body.
Irreverence too plays a part. I enjoy and employ a playful humour in my work because often the hardest messages are best swallowed with laughter. In my project, Branks, I deliberately use this dynamic to invite women to explore our history of being silenced that dates back millennia. It is an overwhelming history to take in were we to do it straight-up. But as we buckle and tie on our branks (or bridles) and make funny noises, the sting of it becomes something else - less crushing and more of a much needed jolt to remind us to stay awake.
May I always care deeply. May I never take myself too seriously.
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.