To the Ground- Solo Exhibition
'To The Ground'; a solo exhibition by artist Rosanne Robertson one of two winners of the AIR Gallery Platform Bursary award sponsored by Arts Council England.
Conscious and unconscious explorations of the idea of Ground are presented via representational and abstract forms. Connections within the material and immaterial mind are extended via appendages and crutches which connect us psychologically and physically to the ground. Moments that are rooted and up rooted exist at the same time celebrating constant flux- joined together and exposed in opposition to the idea of an opaque and rigid dominant structure.
Female form is handled by the female hands, instincts and gaze of the artist- reclaiming power taken away by an overarching patriarchal and homophobic society that fears true exploration of female power and sexuality. Femininities and masculinities are joined in a fluid structure without boundaries, suspended and fragile in a hostile space.
Gendered objects including Robertson’s Dad’s discarded Sure deodorant cans sit alongside a phallic model brick structure in an assemblage titled Sure which bears the marks of stepping outside of gender norms. The white vest is prominent within assembled works as an iconic symbol of female masculinity within butch and lesbian culture. The vest is a repeated motif based on an early memory of looking to her Dad’s morning shave and copying his actions after removing a pink bow from her own white vest. Marked by red earth during a performance on the southern coast of Portugal the vest shows up the embodiment of violence imposed by invisible societal structures that instill fear of gender non-conformity.
New works span drawing, assembled sculpture and sound installation playing with the idea of the moment and allowing it to unfold. Robertson believes there is power in unfolding- in revealing and stripping back distrusting ways we have built around ourselves. The moment exposes a truth which Robertson aims to reveal by allowing improvised performance with objects to lead the making process right up until the point of exhibition. Raw materials of construction and the performance of destruction reduce old hierarchical individualistic monumentalism to the communal experience of dust. Materials of labour and demolition are used referencing her father’s work and a post-industrial and working-class upbringing in Sunderland- using the red bricks that surrounded her in an ex mining Sunderland cottage during formative moments.