Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cape Girardeau artist Mary Robbins

by Leah Bernhardt

Art Saint Louis staffer Leah Bernhardt recently interviewed Cape Girardeau, Missouri-based artist Mary Robbins, who exhibited two artworks in Art Saint Louis' recent "Rabbit Hole" exhibit (August 5-September 7). The works that were featured in the "Rabbit Hole" exhibit by Mary were Nurture. 2017. Mixed Media Sculpture, 10.5”x10”x9” and Emanations: Reaction. 2017. Mixed Media on Paper, 17”x21”.

From her Cape Girardeau, Missouri home base Mary Robbins creates art as it is "a valuable daily presence in my personal life. I try to create something everyday whether it is a small post-it note sketch, or working to complete a larger work."

Since Mary's pieces seem to be crawling from an unknown destination I asked about her process:


Mary Robbins. Nurture. 2017. Mixed Media Sculpture, 10.5”x10”x9”.

"Sculpture: Creating Nurture was a process of discovery and observation. I created the smaller sculpture initially. I let the material work with my intuition in order to discover the form. The smaller form felt very vulnerable. It was almost as if it were an underdeveloped version of the unknown species it belonged to. I immediately felt that it should be part of a larger overall sculptural composition and so I then worked to create the larger form.

Each sculpture that I create becomes it’s own “Rabbit Hole”, because each one brings with it a new experience and expression of the materials. I enjoy creating sculptures like this because I value the feeling of creating something that is unfamiliar. I feel that I access and express a part of myself that can not be experienced in any other way. Each sculpture is a personal leap within myself and creative discoveries are brought outward. The artwork becomes the record of the experience of going into those internal emotional, mental, and spiritual places.  

Mary Robbins. Emanations: Reaction. 2017. Mixed Media on Paper, 17”x21”.

Painting: Emanations: Reaction was created in a way that was very similar to the idea of following a interesting sight towards an unknown destination. The painting began with color. I started with intuitive painting that was loosely planned with regards to size and final composition. I carefully considered the chosen colors.

After the painting layers were complete, I studied the overall composition and followed my intuition in creating the hand drawn layers. I feel that the hand drawn layers are a type of recording of the emotional responses I feel in relationship to the color. The paintings and drawings are meditative spaces (Rabbit Holes) that I become completely enveloped within."
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You can view highlights from Art Saint Louis’ “Rabbit Hole” exhibit in our Facebook album here.

Art Saint Louis is located at 1223 Pine Street, downtown St. Louis, MO. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-5 p.m. & Saturday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Free & open to the public. 314/241-4810.  On view next in the Gallery is "The Golden Hour," September 16-October 26, 2017. Free closing reception Saturday, October 21, 5-7 p.m.
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Leah Bernhardt is an Administrative Assistant at Art Saint Louis.

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