Robin Sewell

The recent paintings set up interplay between my actions and the behavioural nature of the materials. To allow the matter to ‘speak’ and hence maintain a balance between it and myself some mechanistic and remote control methods are deployed. This may involve projecting multi-coloured paint, employing various bespoke devices, using squeegees, gravity and vibration to form relief structures in a powdered compound.

However, far from being a cold processing of materials, this is a passionate, turbulent collaboration, engaging the ‘intelligence of matter’ to seek out key cognitive insights, often embedded into emotionally charged imagery. Even though each work is aided and hampered by indeterminacy, at some point it begins to form a stance and finally arrives at a clear portrayal born from this stance. The painting’s title is set from this, which may be under the banner of an emotion, experience, concept, or could emerge from history, our troubling world news, or possibly something less tangible and more personal.

There are more facets to this working practice than a simple intention to pull back from controlling the proceedings thus allowing more scope for the subconscious to negotiate with the behavioural nature of matter. This interplay is made profoundly complex by the dilemmas, irrationalities and conflicts that emerge, becoming essential and integral to the practice and its goals. This randomised searching, hunting has some parallels with the chance evolutionary process itself, enabling freshly generated forms, mutations to come into being within an uncharted pictorial space.


Gallery images (from left) 

  • CASTS  (Dry compound on Panel)    2022   39.5 x 30cm POD   (Dry compound on Panel)     2021   39.5 x 30cm
  • POD   (Dry compound on Panel)     2021   39.5 x 30cm
  • DANCING WITH STRANGERS  (robotic drawing with cast paint) 2022      57.5 x 76cm 
  • FOUR STATES OF WATER    (dry compound with acrylic on panel)       2022  37 x 46cm