Free Cultural Spaces, Art and a birthday in Christiania

Category Art, Political Art

I was involved in an event called Symposium for Free Cultural Spaces, which was held in Christiania this year. I brought the paintings I had painted in front of the parliament in Copenhagen to the venue and added an installation made from empty tea light holders. They have been sewn together and painted in hope’s rainbow of colour.

"Hjerterum"

“Hjerterum”

The Sun...

The Sun…

...and The Wind

…and The Wind

The Suffering Refugee...

The Suffering Refugee…

...and the Burden to society

…and the Burden to society

DSCN3485

"Hjerterum" at night

“Hjerterum” at night

DSCN3518

Art Auction at St Margaret’s House, Edinburgh!

Category Art

AUCTION FLYER 4c copy

 

 

AN ART AUCTION WITH A DIFFERENCE – LEAH MERETE ROBB

What’s up for Auction?

Over the years, I have varied my approach to art-making quite dramatically, ranging from figure drawings to psychological portraiture, from film-making to political street art. The auction revisits my journey there, with works up for purchase going as far back as 1992. My earliest work shows an interest in still life and nature. During the late 90s to mid-00s, I took an interest in the human form as a subject in itself, followed by paintings with a more pronounced political or social concern. As this website demonstrates, my work has progressed further in this direction and I feel it is time to offer anyone who likes my work the chance to purchase earlier work in the form of an auction. Many drawings will also be offered on donation, so there will definitely be something that everyone can afford.

A little summary of what I’ve been up to in more recent years.

  • Two large political paintings produced and exhibited outside the Danish Parliament. Notably, the subject matter regarding the plight of refugees and migrants has become very relevant since they were painted in April – May 2015.

http://leahrobb.com/anti-racism-day-outside-denmarks-parliament/

 

 

  • The painting of the official portrait of Danish artist, Otto Frello, which toured with his retrospective exhibition in 2014, before his death this year.

http://leahrobb.com/

 

 

  • A solo protest performance outside the ‘open’ Autumn Exhibition (KE), Copenhagen, as criticism of the way art is judged. Censor, Torben Sangild covered my protest in a follow-up article about the subjectivity of the censoring process.

http://www.kunsten.nu/artikler/artikel.php?Smagsdommeri+om+juryens+arbejde+ved+Kunstnernes+Efter%C3%A5rsudstilling+torben+sangild+klumme

 

 

  • Trips to Texas as an invited speaker and artist at Trinity Institute Arts Conference 2011 & 2012.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/541847522518550/

 

 

  • Painting a series of psychological portraits of people from the alternative community, Christiania, Copenhagen, 2008-09.

http://leahrobb.com/christiania-portraits/

 

 

  • And to not neglect the musical side; playing percussion for singer/songwriter, Alaudidae, 2015

 

 

These have been exciting projects which I look forward to sharing a little bit about before launching into the auction!

Some of the works will also be viewable on-line before the physical auction on 28th Nov. Check for updates on:

https://www.facebook.com/leahrobbartist?ref=hl

or here on leahrobb.com

Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Auction of Art coming soon!

Category Uncategorized

Hello! I just thought I’d let you know that I’m in the process of organising an on-line and physical auction to take place some time in November. I have much art from 10 years ago as well as from my youth that I thought could be interesting to make available for purchase. I will keep you informed!

A Dialogue for Peace – 4th – 26th April in Christiania, Gallopperiet, Denmark

Category Art, Exhibitions, Political Art

There  are five days left to see an exhibition I have curated called A Dialogue for Peace. It has been an eventful couple of weeks with input from various artists all dealing with the subject of peace. Within this theme come knowledge and understanding, justice and love.

http://www.gallopperiet.dk/?cat=12

 

This painting was painted outside the Danish parliament. It is based on the story of the sun and the wind who compete to get a man to take his cloak off.  http://www.english-for-students.com/The-Wind-and-The-Sun.html  My reason for painting this was that I had concerns about the repercussions of the shootings in Copenhagen on Valentine’s day this year. I wanted to create an artwork that encouraged dialogue and peace, not more aggression towards a group of people living in Denmark who are constantly associated with the acts of the few. Here I am with a group of Somalian refugees who were protesting outside the parliemant 24th March 2015 because their cases were taking too long to processed. There were about 100 demonstrators and I don’t believe any politicians came out to speak to them.

 

Midview and mask - a nod to my protest outside Den Frie

Midview and mask – a nod to my protest outside Den Frie

 

Leah with Somalian refugees outside the Danish parliament

Leah with Somalian refugees outside the Danish parliament

Leah with Somalian refugees outside the Danish parliament

Leah with Somalian refugees outside the Danish parliament

 

 

Sun and the wind painting hung at Gallopperiet, Christiania, Denmark

Sun and the wind painting hung at Gallopperiet, Christiania, Denmark

 

 

 

After meeting the refugees I decided to make a tribute installation describing their situation. There is a portrait of one of the demonstrators and other objects that are thrown in a pile. These objects could be useful, but don’t look it. There is also a ladder that is rotten and going nowhere special – the ceiling is low.

Installation representing the refugees' experience in Denmark

Installation representing the refugees’ experience in Denmark

A refugee painted on a chair seat in a pile of refuse

By Leah Robb – A refugee painted on a chair seat in a pile of refuse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was inspired by an artist called Michael Landy who made paper cutout people and had them all over the floor. They were ready for the People Shredder. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/landy-scrapheap-services-t07221 This installation is one of the most powerful works I’ve ever seen. Anyway, I decided to borrow his idea, but make more obvious differences to the people on the floor. Some people made a point of not standing on anyone, while others just walked right through not looking down.

People, by Leah Robb

People, by Leah Robb

 

 

 

This piece called Propaganda is about the way news has removed itself from serious journalism to ill-informed or outright deliberate misrepresentations of truth for the sake of selling the news. If you can see through the web of propaganda, you may see the truth.

Propaganda, by Leah Robb and Sandra Andersen

Propaganda, by Leah Robb and Sandra Andersen

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In The Red Corner

Category Personal News, Uncategorized

In the Red Corner

“An aspiring young artist (with mask) stood outside KE – the Artist’s Autumn Exhibition held at Den Frie 1) during the Opening and painted a picture. The Scottish/Danish multi-artist explains why.”

Hekla Hekla 2)

 

On the 11th September I remember back to last year when I submitted five biographical portraits to KE. Everything I submitted was rejected without the possibility of feedback. I greatly regretted that I had given my confidence and my precious money to a ‘blind’ jury panel. I was angry and deeply disappointed. In 2013-14, I spent over 200 hours painting the best and most challenging portrait I might ever paint. The portrait is of a previously rejected Danish artist, now very well known and with increasing respect from the art scene. The painting alludes to many of his quirky ideas and character traits carried down to the smallest detail, as also he did it. His mischief and stubbornness were caught in his gaze. The painting’s reverse was also used as a canvas, because it was in his spirit to do something like that. It’s the kind of portrait you cannot paint unless you have love, understanding and a great enthusiasm for the subject. I could not resist the temptation to try one last time; to enter KE on the basis of this work.

 

It is the 18th Sep – Scotland’s Referendum on independence, and I’m sitting in Edinburgh well aware that the whole world is watching us to see what the next hours will mean for Britain’s future. It is also the day I hear KE’s verdict on my work. I log on to their website with butterflies in my stomach. But that which meets my gaze is yet another sorry, faceless, hostile red dot! Not a single judge recognizes my work. I am curiously empty of real anger, because now that my back is against the wall I’m ready to fight my corner. I will not accept the outcome this year. My brain is churning with ideas on how I can turn the disappointment into a new and suitably creative response – and proof that traditional painters can of course handle a more spontaneous, modern expression if necessary.

 

Today, the 24th September a family member in Denmark refers me to an article journalist Nils Thorsen 3) has written, about rejection. It inspires me further to implement my idea. I will confront KE as anonymously as my own rejection was, and I therefore make a plaster mask.

 

Maskemaleren ProtestmaleriFrellokollage

Clockwise from top: Protest painter outside Den Frie, The Frelloist details, Painted letter done outside Den Frie.

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Protestaktion udenfor Den Frie/Protest Action outside Den Frie

Category Art, Personal News

I det Røde Hjørne

“En ung håbefuld kunstner (med maske) stod udenfor til efterårsudstillingens1 fernisering og malede et billede. Her fortæller den skotsk/danske multikunstner hvorfor.”

Hekla Hekla2

 

Den 11. september husker jeg tilbage på forrige år, hvor jeg indsendte fem biografiske portrætter til KE. Alt hvad jeg indsendte blev afvist uden mulighed for tilbagemelding.
Jeg fortrød kraftigt, at jeg havde givet min tillid og mine dyrebare penge til et ‘blindt’ dommerpanel. Jeg var vred og dybt skuffet. I 2013-14 brugte jeg over 200 timer på at male det mest gennemførte og udfordrende portræt jeg måske nogensinde maler – et portræt af en tidligere afvist dansk kunstner, nu særdeles kendt og med stigende respekt fra kunstscenen. Maleriet hentyder til mange af hans spøjse ideer og karaktertræk, udført ned til den mindste detalje, som også han gjorde det. Skælmskheden og stædigheden skulle fanges i blikkets udtryk. Maleriets bagside blev også anvendt som lærred, fordi det var i hans ånd at gøre sådan noget. Det er sådan et portræt man ikke kan male med mindre man har kærlighed, forståelse og en stor begejstring for emnet. Jeg kunne ikke modstå fristelsen til at prøve en sidste gang at komme ind på KE på baggrund af det her værk.

 

Det er den 18. september, Skotlands afstemning om selvstædighed, og jeg sidder i Edinburgh velvidende at hele verdenen – og Bornholm – vender blikket mod os for at se hvad de næste timer vil betyde for Storbritanniens fremtid. Det er også i dag jeg hører dommen fra KE om mit værk. Jeg slår op på hjemmesiden med lidt sommerfugle i maven. Men det, der møder mit blik, er endnu en sølle, udtryksløs, fjendsk rød prik! Ikke en eneste dommer anerkender mit værk. Jeg er mærkelig nok tom for rigtig vrede, for jeg mærker en kampklarhed i mig, man kun får når man er trængt op i en krog, og jeg accepterer ikke udfaldet i år. Min hjerne knurrer med ideer til hvordan jeg kan omdanne skuffelsen til en ny og passende kreativ respons – og et bevis på at traditionelle malere sagtens kan klare et mere spontant, moderne udtryk hvis nødvendigt.

 

I dag, d. 24. september, henviser et familiemedlem i DK mig til en artikel journalist Nils Thorsen3 har skrevet, netop om afslag. Den inspirerer mig yderligere til at gennemføre min idé. Jeg vil gå KE i møde lige så ansigtsløst som min egen afvisning var, og laver derfor en gipsmaske. Jeg kaster en tanke til Peter Smeeth som malede “The Artist’s Fate” med dæmoner, der står om ham med hvide masker på, mens de udmagrer ham for alt hvad han indeholder. Mit eget vragede maleri laver jeg en kopi af med den hensigt at hænge det op udenfor KE på ferniseringsdagen.

 

MaskemalerenProtestmaleriFrellokollage

Medur fra toppen: Protestmaleren, Frelloist detaljer, Maleriet som blev malet udefor Den Frie.

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Emotion series 2

Category Art, Personal News

After the Frelloist portrait it has been hard to get back into painting. Painting The Frelloist/Frelloisten drained me because it was like cracking a really, really hard code, or like spewing everything you are and have into one performanc,e or like fighting goliath. Nothing but your best will do. Regardless of the reception of the work, putting your all into something is going to take a while to replenish. The new inspiration didn’t necessarily come from the happiest place. But that is the great thing about art; it can turn difficult things into positives. This series of paintings are a release from the tight precision work of Frelloisten and has allowed for a more expressive approach to figure painting. My inspiration came from the people around me who are struggling with various issues. Suddenly I just had to process these emotions. I threw a piece of paper on the floor after an unsuccessful, uninspired bit of painting. I poured some of the turps I’d cleaned my paintbrushes in onto the paper, spread it around and started developing a face on the paper with my leftover paint. What emerged relayed some of the desperation and helplessness I feel in one of my friends – several of my friends in fact. Emotions was spilling out of me onto canvases laid on the floor. I was able to move the paint around on the oil saturated surface, tipping the canvas no occasion causing dribble effects. To not sink into a hole of helplessness, I have also painted a few pieces that reflect a more hopeful existence.

The Scream

The Scream

The Scream 2

The Scream 2

Fernisering, Foredrag og Underholdning nu på torsdag 28. aug i Filmby Aarhus!

Category Art, Exhibitions, The Triangle Theory

FERNISERING: SKÆVE EKSISTENSER PÅ OLIE

– 19 PORTRÆTTER FRA CHRISTIANIA. FERNISERING OG FOREDRAG I FILMBY AARHUS TORSDAG 28. AUGUST.
compiled photo

Leah Robb, Filmby Aarhus og Mediedokken inviterer til fernisering og foredrag i Filmbyen 23. Torsdag 28. august Foredrag kl. 15.30 Fernisering kl. 16.00 Underholdning: Ocean van Vleck, der selv er gammel Christianit

Leah Merete Robb er halvt skotte, 37 år, uddannet kunstmaler på Duncan of Jordanstone. For år tilbage satte hun sig for at portrættere menneskene, der lever på Christiania. Mødet med Christiania ændrede Leah Robb for altid. For at komme tæt på, var hun nødt til at leve sig ind i staden og være sammen med de portrætterede i deres dagligdag.

Projekt Christianiaportrætter er resultatet. En samling meget overbevisende oliemalerier af mennesker, der ellers aldrig ville stå model på den måde. Der er Syre Kim, der døde fem måneder senere, der er gymnasieeleven Theo, den grønlandske fisker Rink, og Christianias egen skæve præst, tømreren John Andersen. Men der er også folk som Bifrost-sangeren Ida Klemann, Grev Lyhne, der spillede trommer i punkbandet Parkering Forbudt og stadens ældste mand, den norske maler Laurie Grundt.

I alt 19 meget forskellige portrætter af christianitter, der er fremstillet på hver sin måde, i den kunstneriske stil, som nu passer til dem.

For Leah Robb har der været både en malerisk og filosofisk udvikling. Samtidigt skrev hun bogen ”The Triangle Theory – Objective Criticism of Art”, der tilbyder en metode til at vurdere et værks kunstneriske værdi – uanset om det er et kunstværk, et håndværk eller et nedlagt elværk som Filmbyen.

Foredraget handler om Leahs kritik af kunstkritikken. Andre har beskrevet Leahs bog som “en bombe, der springer kunstkritikernes urørlige borg i luften,” og “modigt har som mål, at finde fast grund i den subjektive sump af meningsløse kunstkritik … dog uden at udelukke det skøre eller chokerende”. Foredraget, som også er blevet holdt på kunstkonferencer i USA, giver stof til diskussion og eftertanke for enhver kreativ kollega, uanset om man er grafiker, journalist, fotograf, filminstruktør – eller overhoved enig.

Multi-kunstneren Ocean van Vleck, der laver musik, teater, humor og film, kommer forbi og giver et nummer – sammen med Leah på perkussion. Ocean, der i dag bor og arbejder i Aarhus, er selv gammel Christianit.

Kontakt Leah Robb på 5023 3126 eller klik på titlen og sende mig en besked.

Christiania Portraits to hang in Århus Filmbyen (Film Town)

Category Uncategorized

This painting and 17 other portraits of people from Christiania will soon hang on the walls of Århus’ film town. Watch this wall space!

 

 

The Art of Collaboration

The Art of Collaboration

 

 

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Category Uncategorized