Group Exhibition – Titled: “AS IF: When and Now” at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist

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No. 4 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 4 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist standing by stand with information about the group exhibition – Photographed by Karen’s Hubby 1.10.2015.JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

Art exhibitions have taught me, that art can be a very powerful way to engage with others; a way to captivate an audience’s attention and convey a story about my inner most personal thoughts and emotions.  For myself especially – exhibiting my paintings has been about being able to communicate a soulful message, to highlight important issues; and to give the viewer something to mull over, well after viewing the art work itself.  Hence exhibiting paintings from my Abstract Art Portfolio, has been an important part of my ‘art for therapy’ journey.  NB:  Am now listed as one of ‘Women’s Art Register’s’ Star Artists

 

No. 16 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 16 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – featuring Karen Robinson’s Abstract Painting ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ on the far left hand side of photo with Karen Robinson in the background.  Photographed by Karen’s Hubby 1.10.2015.JPG

 

GROUP EXHIBITION TITLED ‘AS IF: WHEN AND NOW’

On Thursday the 1st October, 2015 I had the opportunity to be part of a group exhibition titled AS IF: When and Now – Artists from the Women’s Art register/past and present at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Gallery, Ground Floor, 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne – Australia.  The gallery space inhabits this building’s glorious historical tessellated entrance foyer and expansive corridor with soaring ceilings which is amongst women specific organisations.  Thus enabling the gallery space to be most fitting for artists from the Women’s Art Register, to exhibit and celebrate 40 years of insisting that women’s art matters (W.A.R. 2015).  The exhibition was Curated by Gail Stiffe and Rosemary Mangiamele and opens on the 30th September and closes on 30th October 2015.

 

No. 4 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 4 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Featuring a plague with wording that evokes the importance of recognising the need to make sure women have the ability to enrich their lives….  Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

 

WHAT DOES ART DO FOR THE ART-MAKER?

This group exhibition focuses on what art does for the art-maker.  Artworks selected were based upon the artist’s response to the question of ‘what does art making mean to you/what role has/does art making play in your life?‘.  My answer to this question was the following:

My name is Karen Robinson and I am a painter, story-teller, photo-taker and blogger. I am a self-taught artist, having taken up my childhood love of painting again, later in my adult life. As inspiration for my artwork, I draw on feelings and emotions evoked by situations experienced throughout my life, such as great family moments, family tragedy, career experiences, travelling adventures, current local and world events. With painting, I explore colour and shape as an intuitive way of conveying my story. Once I have completed a painting, I then write its story, so that the viewer may have a clearer understanding about me as an artist and about the painting itself. Art gave me a voice when words were hard to find, or when I did find the words, too hard to say out loud. It gave me a way of moving forward in the most difficult of times… I came to understand that art can be a very powerful way of communication with others…

 

No. 8 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Hubby of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 8 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen Robinson standing beside her painting titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ 2014 Acrylic on Canvas –  Photographed by Hubby of Karen 1.10.2015.JPG

 

ART WORK CHOSEN FOR THE GROUP EXHIBITION

Choosing an abstract painting for this particular exhibition wasn’t difficult when considering the exhibition’s focus.  I decided it would be my abstract painting No. 56 Titled:  ‘A Celebration of Womanhood‘.

Abstract Painting No. 56 Titled 'A Celebration of Womanhood' Acrylic on Canvas 97cms Length x 102cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist - August 2014.JPG

Abstract Painting No. 56 Titled ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’ Acrylic on Canvas 97cms Length x 102cms Wide x 3cms Deep by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist – August 2014.JPG

 

MY PAINTING STORY

Below is my painting story for the above painting ‘A Celebration of Womanhood‘ which I wrote in August 2014.  It is deeply personal but I feel every woman will be able to relate to, understand and appreciate…

My art journey has been about being able to find meaning and purpose in everyday. Much of my earlier art work has been about very personal feelings, emotions and thoughts about loss and grief. But slowly and surely, art has brought me to a place where I look for joy in each and every day!

This painting story will show that art needs to also be about finding your sense of humour, to have a laugh about yourself, a bit of a giggle – it can put a smile on your face and a skip in your step. So I am hoping that by sharing what this following painting was inspired by, will give you a bit of a giggle too. Don’t be surprised and please know it is done in the best of taste. I really wasn’t sure if I was going to share this painting story but after originally promising myself, when I first started painting that I would always be open and honest about my art journey, I realised there should be no exceptions to that promise to myself.

During a recent visit to The Royal Women’s Hospital with the Women’s Health Clinic for a Urogynaecology consultation, I experienced a pelvic floor examination. Now, to my shame, it had been many years since I had such an examination. It is not exactly what every women looks forward to having done. It can be embarrassing but I thought to myself, well I am too old now to be embarrassed and followed through with what was required of me during my examination. All was good until I saw the look on the women’s face, the face of the consultant. Well I was all ‘au naturale’ and perhaps this was just too much of a shock for her or perhaps when you get on in old age, ones private parts are just not that attractive anymore! After asking me a range of standard Urogynaecology consultant type questions, I felt in some regards relieved and in other regards, mildly disturbed.

It brought to my mind thoughts about what women have to go through just by being a woman. First we grow breasts and get periods, we learn about sex, then it is the incredible experience of pregnancy and the birth of children, then it is menopause and then it’s a – Urogynaecology consultation! Our poor bodies do have to go through many changes throughout our lives.

This must have been playing on my mind because on my return home that day, I decided to start another painting. I got the new white canvas out and began to draw directly onto the canvas as per usual for me. During the process, the lines and swirls began to form an image to me – it looked like a vagina. I thought yes – it is a vagina! I decided that I wanted to paint with all new colours, bright, happy, joyful and beautiful colours; colours that would celebrate women’s womanhood – this strange and interesting journey we embark on throughout the course of our lives…

Written by © Karen Robinson August 2014

 

PHOTO GALLERY OF EXHIBITION

As my husband and I strolled around the gallery space and read the stories that accompanied the art works, I couldn’t help feeling that I was in a special place.  It was just so peaceful and it was easy to become lost in the art work itself.  But in saying this the true star of the exhibition was the building – the very beautiful Queen Victoria Women’s Centre.

 

No. 19 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Hubby of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 19 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist admiring another artist’s artwork – Photographed by Hubby of Karen 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 5 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 5 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen’s Hubby reading up on the exhibition details in the beautiful entrance of the gallery space.  Photographed by Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

 

AFTER THE EXHIBITION IT WAS TIME FOR COFFEE!

After viewing the exhibition my dear husband and I walked towards the back of the magnificent Queen Victoria Women’s Centre only to discover a delightful courtyard surrounded by tall city buildings.  Here we found an irresistible Max Brenner Chocolate Shop where we ordered coffee and sat by the window looking out onto the court-yard, admiring the beautiful Melbourne spring day.

 

No. 27 of 28 Group Exhibition titled 'AS IF When and Now' Women's Art Register at Queen Victoria Women's Centre Melbourne Photographed by Hubby of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

No. 27 of 28 Group Exhibition titled ‘AS IF When and Now’ Women’s Art Register at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Melbourne – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist looking out from the Chocolate Shop towards the court-yard behind the centre.  Photographed by Hubby of Karen Robinson Abstract Artist 1.10.2015.JPG

CONCLUSION

M‘art for therapy’ journey has once again given me an opportunity to share my experience.  How lucky am I to have had this opportunity to exhibit a of my abstract paintings at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre with the Women’s Art Register organisation.  And it was a wonderful bonus, in being able to spend, a lovely day with my dear husband, on one of Melbourne’s beautiful spring days!  Art therapy – at its best for sure….

© Karen Robinson, October 2015

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson

4 thoughts on “Group Exhibition – Titled: “AS IF: When and Now” at Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Karen Robinson Abstract Artist

  1. Hi Karen
    Your paintings are very striking and I can see you have evolved your own style. I’m puzzled though about the narratives you give your paintings as I thought the whole point about abstract painting was that it was abstract!?

    Like

    • Hi Erik,

      Thank you for your observation about my ‘art for therapy’ paintings and yes, you are right, over time I found myself with a style that has best worked for me. In relation to your question about calling my paintings abstract but at the same time, accompanying them with a painting story – had me thinking. I believe I can explain this by talking about my process. I start with a thought in my mind and from there it evolves into a creation which I them sketch onto a canvas intuitively. Whilst another may stand in front of one of my paintings without a story attached and may see nothing other than an abstract painting, for me all my paintings have been inspired by a story. Telling my painting story became an important part of my ‘art for therapy’ journey, as it was important to me that the viewer of my art work had an understanding of what my intention was as a painter. My painting has always been about painting for just me, but have I found over time that by sharing both my paintings and my painting stories, has given others a greater insight into matters of grief, despair, depression, life struggles and the benefits of ‘art for therapy’. Essentially though – it’s a very personal endeavour I decided to share in the hope that by sharing with others may encourage them to take up ‘art for therapy’ to help improve their sense of wellbeing… sincerely Karen

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  2. Dear Karen,
    I love the painting, the movement within the elements and still they fit perfectly together an form a whole complete in itself. And I am so proud of you, having this beautiful piece of work in an exhibition.
    Take care,
    Kati

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kati – thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about my painting ‘A Celebration of Womanhood’. And I find it very touching that you say you are proud of me…think I needed that…so very kind…sincerely Karen

      Like

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