Fiona Robinson

Fiona Robinson

Artist, Writer

What defines drawing: intention, format, support? Works in sketchbooks are drawings because they are investigative; primary sources; studies for something else; therefore apparently unfinished, ephemeral, and seen as work in progress. They are part of a journey towards another state of being - which in my case is a finished drawing which has its own autonomy and presents itself as a fully resolved artwork.

My drawings merge diverse influences from landscape, music and literature, examining relationships between repetition and process across these different art forms. My current work is directly related to music and had its genesis in exploratory drawings made whilst listening to John Cage’s pieces for prepared piano. Strings soaked in Chinese ink were plucked repeatedly and the sound of them snapping against the paper was a significant element of the process. The Cage drawings were a turning point leading directly to drawings exploring the deeply emotional charge of Bach’s Suites for unaccompanied cello.

In the Bach drawings I pursued a deeper engagement with the music, creating an interaction of sound, vigorous movement and mark-making whilst listening to the differing interpretations of the suites by Pablo Casals, Yo Yo Ma and Pieter Wispelwey. Intensely responsive to the mood, major and minor keys of the different suites, the initial layers of each drawing, frequently executed at exhilarating speed, provide a free-flowing undercurrent of line and space over which a structure, acknowledging the measured framework of the music, was superimposed. The manipulation of media, in this case, charcoal, graphite, chalk and wax on paper, continued to be a crucial part of the process. Throughout, however, it was the passionate, least measured interpretation by Pablo Casals with which I identified most closely.
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Location Weymouth, South West
Activities Residencies, Critical writing
Artforms / type of project Drawing