The latest exhibition in the Northlight Gallery Stromness is by Robinson RR. In ‘News to Orkney‘ Robinson RR brings the outside world and his humanity into the heart of this small and yet influential exhibition space in Stromness.
In ‘News to Orkney’ Robinson RR explores “the ebb and flow of tidings and dispatches” using beach gathered materials most of which have been unaltered from the condition they were found in.
‘Kaleidoscopic Tears of the Green Man‘, ‘Salmon and Two Side Orders’, and ‘Resurrection: Poseidon Presents the Bill’ reflect Robinson RR’s response to the plastic consequences of marine litter to our seas with a good portion of his clever wit thrown in for good measure.
Dominating the exhibition is ‘The Boat‘ Robinson RR’s response to the horrific plight of refugees fleeing war and conflict as they seek safety by crossing seas in overladen vessels. This powerful work was sold instantly. Its impact is all the more striking due to the simplicity of its form.
“Of all the media coverage of the refugees from Syria the image of precariously overloaded boats packed with bewildered people is the most iconic. To the viewer the boats seemed barely seaworthy and incapable of carrying such numbers of passengers.
Despite the ashen faces of the fugitive mariners and the dark circumstances of their predicament the viewer was presented with a bright and colourful spectacle. the otherwise heartless people traffickers who facilitated the journey had mercifully provided the refugees with high visibility life jackets. Those boats arriving on the shores of a Greek island during the hours of daylight and photographed against the azure skies presented a kaleidoscopic picture which belied the deep gloom of the situation.”
‘Burkina Beach: Joan Blaeu Visits‘ with faint blood-red traces of colour skirting the edges of the map-like fragments is another powerful piece and rests on the wall under ‘The Boat’. It is Robinson RR’s interpretation of the banning of the Burkha on French beaches.
News to Orkney is on at the Northlight Gallery Stromness from 10th- 21st of June and is open daily 1030 – 1700, including Sundays.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame