Odyssey
By Iain Robertson

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Year
1995
Media
Mixed Media and Collage Oil Painting
Subject Matter
Abstract
Reg. Number
P647
Size
37 x 60 cm

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Iain says of his work: "My paintings start in random application of colour and shape working with a language of developed forms - archetypal symbols recalling primitivistic signs and referencing contemporary culture; expressing a direct approach to image making, communication and execution.

Pouring, gravity, mark making and a tension implicit through the coexistence of considered action and chance, help me to get closer to dealing with a multiplicity of information and the influence of visual and audible stimulus on the process.

Listening to music and personal musical memory distract me from the activity - encouraging emergent chance imagery, whilst also informing style, look and attitude.

The laying of image and gesture - a more translucent colour contrasted with thick impasto; surprising and unexpected happenings - are balanced with a need for structure, composition, beauty and immediacy - the dynamic of the purely abstract."

Iain Robertson was born in Cyprus in 1955. He lived in Edinburgh during his childhood, attending school at the Royal High Academy. After leaving school, he joined the Civil Service. Following two years with the Inland Revenue, he left to study art at the Cumbria College of Art & Design in Carlisle (1978-1979) and at the Exeter College of Art and Design in Devon from 1979 to 1982.

In 1983, he was awarded a six month painting residency at Grizedale Sculpture Park in Cumbria. In 1984, he exhibited at the SPACEX gallery in Exeter, Devon and in the spring of 1986 he travelled to America with fellow artist Clare Wardman, where their work was shown in private galleries and public collections in Chicago, New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

Iain shared a studio with Clare Wardman in North Devon between 1986 and 1987 and in 1988 (at the age of 33), he was awarded £10,000 by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation - an American foundation - to support the continuation of his abstract impressionist works for the next year. He was the first Scottish inhabitant to be awarded this grant.

In an interview in the Scotsman, he had said "I decided to come back to Edinburgh because I felt the need for city stimulus. There's certainly a lot more happening here in the art world than ever before and I am hoping there will be more opportunities here for my work." His work is in various private collections in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Scotland, England, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

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