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Featuring the striking artwork of Robyn Grove
Persona is a new exhibition showing at Off the Kerb Gallery featuring the vibrant and striking art of Robyn Grove. The exhibition uses the concept of 'persona' to examine discrepancies between the public and private personalities of a range of performers.
Discover artworks by Robyn Grove such as this one titled Dandrogyny
Robyn Grove is a Melbourne-based artist who grew up with a love of art. As a child she enjoyed drawing and painting and vividly remembers one particular gold-covered book on Salvador Dali from her parents' collection of art books, which she pored over for hours, studying every detail.
Discouraged from pursuing an art career at school, Robyn went on to study a PhD in art history in Sydney. It was here while researching her thesis on William Dobell that she met Thelma Clune, who encouraged her to show her art folio at the Julian Ashton Art School in The Rocks. As a result, Robyn was offered a full scholarship, the inaugural William Dobell Scholarship, and jumped at the chance to learn in the fine art school environment.
After moving back to Melbourne Robyn has had a varied career in the fields of graphic design, teaching at the Centre for Adult Education and running a business in corporate design and marketing. But her desire to paint full-time never waned and around 18 months ago she "bit the bullet" and decided to dedicate herself to art full-time.
Robyn Grove at work in her studio (Image Credit: Shini Pararajasingham)
Describing herself as a modern-day Renaissance painter, Robyn paints portraits that aim to capture the deep, intimate characteristics of her sitters. To accomplish this she goes through a process of getting to know them both in terms of their personality and how they view the world.
Mostly working with oils, Robyn prefers handmade Michael Harding oils and mediums. She does a lot of research regarding the chemical backgrounds of her surfaces, prep materials, paints, mediums and varnishes and aims to be as archival as possible. For the current show, Robyn uses handmade American oak with carefully selected grain patterns to suit the works.
Bridget in Snow from Off the Kerb's Winter Days show earlier this year
The Persona Exhibition will consist of five large portraits and five small pieces. The subjects in this, her first solo exhibition, are performers from a variety of disciplines including burlesque, cabaret, dance, voice, magic, sideshow, circus, drag and more.
Centring on the concept of 'persona" developed by Carl Jung, the artist examines discrepancies between the public and private personalities of her subjects. This concept holds a constant and recurring fascination for the artist as it is a theme that is featured in her favourite films such as Ingmar Bergman's "Persona", David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive", "Fight Club" by David Fincher and also Reg Cribb's play "The Haunting of Daniel Gartrell".
Elaborating on the theme of her exhibition, Robyn explains the concept "is also poignantly evident in the onstage versus private lives of the performers I've met through Melbourne's vibrant life-drawing community at Dr Sketchy's Anti-Art School and Gay Life Drawing. "Persona" strips these local performers of their outlandish, vibrant and powerful on-stage characters, and examines who they are when the costumes are removed, the props set aside and the lights are down."
The Persona Exhibition will commence at Off the Kerb Gallery on 8th November and will run until 22nd November 2018. It will be shown in the Front Gallery.
Opening night is on Friday 9th November from 6pm - 9pm.
While you are there, you can also check out the following exhibitions:
HOMAGE by Ayman Kaake & Anna Kiparis in the Back Gallery
FEELS LIKE HOME by Sarah Randall in the Side Gallery
TROUBLE IN PARADISE by Sorcha Mackenzie in the Upstairs Gallery