Category Archives: Art

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

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Filed under 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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Protestaktion udenfor Den Frie/Protest Action outside Den Frie

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Filed under 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

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Filed under 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!

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Filed under 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.

Storkespringvandet

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Filed under Art

I went out in the baking heat to paint the ‘stork fountain’ known as Storkespringvandet, in the center of Copenhagen. I started by smearing leftover paint from my previous painting onto the 38x46cm canvas and then pulling the paint off with a cloth where the highlights were to be. Paint on, paint off, paint on, paint off. That sort of thing. Anyway, this is the dramatic end result.   Jeg tog ud i den bagende varme for at male Storkepringvandets storker. Jeg synes de er flotte. Baggrunden er godt nok opdigtet eftersom jeg startede bare med at rense min palette for maling ved at tværre det ud over lærredet. Derefter tog jeg en klud og tørrede malingen af igen, der hvor der skulle være lyst. Maling på, maling af osv. Resultatet blev ret dramatisk!

 

Ps. Anyone notice a little extra creature in the painting?

 

Storkespringvandet

Storkespringvandet

 

 

Sketching Wrecks

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Filed under Art

I went out to paint a couple of days ago and made a conscious decision to paint something because i found it interesting, not because there would be a market for it. I came across a capsized boat next to Refshalevej near Christiania. I thought, there’s a good motif with difficult angles, curves and foreshortening. I’ll paint that. People started to come and have a look, including the man in a neighbouring float. He told me that the rich people on the other side of the moat are up in arms about this ‘ugly’ sight and want it removed and yet, here I am painting it, deeming it somehow aesthetic. To think I unknowingly documented a case that is current for Christiania and its neighbourhood. And to think I have a buyer!

 

Bingo!

 

 

The Capsized Boat

The Capsized Boat

 

 

Making Faces

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Filed under Art

I was visiting my friend and colleague, Otto Frello. I had a lump of clay with me and made a couple of clay faces while chatting to him. They were a bit of fun and I feel like making a few more expressive nonsense faces :) Watch this space:

 

 

Sculpted Face 2

Sculpted Face 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seaside sketching

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Filed under Art

Today was a strange day. I was at the beach in Amager – Copenhagen and had my sketchbook with me. First I went for at swim and it was lovely! Then I had the bright idea of trying to take a little canvas into the waves with me and draw them from within the water! I started the daunting task of painting the ever moving unsettled sea that would grip at my arm and tug at it. Is was an enjoyable challenge though, and the canvas was splashed many times underway. 

Wave Height

Wave Height

 

As I went to shore too cold to do anymore, an unclear message was made through a megaphone apparently urging everyone out of the water because a bather seemed to have gone missing. Fire engines, divers, police and ambulance folk all got to work. Eventually the missing person was presumed to have made it out of the water unnoticed and things stepped down. I had been sketching all the happenings hoping that this was a false alarm and impressed at how serious the Danish emergency service took this possible case of drowning. At the time I was talking to someone about how slightly over the top it all looked if she had just sneaked out of the water without the lifeguards seeing her surface. Last I heard was, that it was probably a false alarm. I hope so, but this sketch really shows to what extent the Danish rescue service went, to save someone. Quite special to watch actually.

 

Rescue Mission, Amager

Rescue Mission, Amager

 

Sommer Solhverv som maleri

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Filed under Art

Jeg blev bedt om at male et billede, der handlede om sommersolhverv. Jeg huskede, at der blev takket for ild, jord, luft og vand, så det var de elementer jeg representerede i mit maleri. Jeg brugte faktisk rigtig jord i malingen, og kul fra bålet. Jeg brændte selvfølgelig fingrene på det! Her er maleriet, som er noget mere abstrakt end det jeg plejer at lave:

 

Sommer solhverv 2014

Sommer solhverv 2014

DSC_4460 DSC_4459 copy

About The Frelloist – English

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Filed under Art

 

The Frelloist, 125x85cm, 2013-14,
Oil on MDF board,
LEAH MERETE ROBB, (1977)

 

Danish/Scottish Portrait artist Leah Merete Robb has enjoyed getting to know Otto and wife Stence during the past 5 years.
My initial awareness of Frello came via my uncle Finn Nesgaard, who handed me a documentary film about Otto he was involved in making back in 2000. In 2008 I visited the Frello family and discovered that Otto’s humour ran through his every conversation and therefore poured very effortlessly into his paintings. On this meeting I showed him portraits I was painting of people from Copenhagen’s alternative community, Christiania. He exclaimed, “but you can draw!” Our friendship and mutual respect led to my portrayal of one of the most humorous, imaginative and talented artists I’ve come across.
My portrait painting uses texture, illusion, printing and dribbling techniques, creating a visual tapestry of intrigue, like a detective story. I wish to draw to attention an artist I have been inspired by and who I believe deserves to be discovered by many more.