For me, making art is like writing a story because it makes order out of chaos. It also underscores the importance that recording impressions and events have to our collective experience. We operate within stories in order to understand our world and our place in it. Creative expression allows me to articulate what I experience, as well as provide opportunities to unite with others.
Despite many side trips over the years into oils, pastels, egg tempera, and textiles, I always return to acrylic paints. I love iridescent and metallic paints for expressing the ephemeral quality of an experience; even the slightest shift in point of view changes the image’s appearance. The play between light and colour in these paints is like multi-faceted or layered pathways to truth and how opinion can change with the disclosure of new information.
A life-changing vision loss in 2005 has changed how I experience the world. I often continue to choose my subject matter from the landscape, but visual impairment has freed me from my former style of highly-detailed expression, and created a shift toward abstraction and the visceral. While I use the same medium and grounds, I now employ them to subvert popular assumptions about sight because sight is so highly valued for sensory and aesthetic experience. Interference paints present different colours when viewed from different positions. Colours are created with not only hues but with textures and layers, and invite touch.
I hope to convey the idea that seeing is not simply vision but can open the door to broader experience and the understanding that so much of what we assume to be true is open to interpretation.
Just like a story.
Robyn Wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts
Also, thank you to the CNIB for their continued support