James Robinson – ‘Anthropocene and Asylum’ – 4 to 22 August, 2015

ANTHROPOCENE AND ASYLUM comprises of two parts. The first is a grouping of works that could be loosely termed paintings but are more aptly described as assemblages on canvas. These were made by James Robinson while he was guest artist in a residency programme, hosted by the Dunmoochin Foundation near Melbourne, during 2014.
Having made the paintings James invited poetic response and the second part of this exhibition is a series of works on paper which relate to Six Sonnets, poems written by David Eggleton after viewing James’s paintings.

JRB15p02Artist’s statement:
I made these outside in the bush at an old art colony near Melbourne where I was a guest. I felt displacement … and grief for the original “owners”, the Wurendjeri, and that fed into my lifelong themes of art … human survival and accountability to our unsustainable addictive culture.
So abstract expressionist mixed media work allows me to access an unconscious, emotive, empathetic resonance of an ancient/human/soul/heart/mind the cave … the birth/death cycle, fear, love … consciousness. We are part of this event of life…
Art’s a fragile bridge between worlds … in this case a Booshwaa apartheid world of affluence and state sponsored racism … and irresponsible global climate change denial.
I’m pleased with this away mission and the resulting monochromatic palette that mirrored the mono-cultural globalist themes of our extinction and lemming-like engineered consent.   
Kia ora / amen

SHORT ESSAY about this series of works, written by Brendan Jon Philip.
‘The ephemeral time and place of that restricted moment we call a life burns like a persistent ember in the ashen hues of James Robinson’s oeuvre…’ more

JRB15p03JRB15p01JRB15p05JRB15p04JRB15p08JRB15p07(Please note it is really worth clicking on the DETAIL button once you get to the page so as to see the material nature of the work closer up)






The works on paper are less abstract. They contain figures, contexts, symbology, and words. Sometimes James quotes a single phrase from one of David Eggleton’s poems, working it into the imagery as a descriptive line, other times he recites the whole thing and the poem and drawing appear on the page as companions with symbiotic rhythm.

One of David Eggleton’s Six Sonnets:JRB15d06

Penny Serenade
Penny Serenade’s jammed in her busted jukebox,

with top drawer knives, forks, cracked dinner plates;
and here come the exoplanets, the orbiting rocks.
Twelve steps below Paradise, they open the floodgates
to enmesh all in chook-wire and holy ectoplasm.
Mother Earth Normal’s now Mother Earth Abnormal,
and software precogs exploit everywhen’s shrapnel.
Helicopter parents have the price of a buddha stick;
their vinyl fetish costumes shine like an oil slick.
Doofus leads the slo-mo exit from Olympus.
I’ll asphyxiate you, croon the car fumes,
giving rivers of metal the anthropocene blues.
You’re beautiful in marble, beautiful in mud,
but you’re choking, Mother Earth, in fossil fuel crud.



artist talk clip 1
artist talk clip 2