Carol Robertson

London, United Kingdom

The power and beauty of geometric form and detail provide me with a catalyst for ways to make art. Adopting the formal restraints of a reductive and often repetitive geometric language takes the chaos out of what otherwise would be an impossibly vast set of visual options upon which to pin my existence. Geometry allows me to concentrate on the essential. It allows me the freedom to channel sensory or poetic material through its refined parameters. Over time my work evolves in tandem with whatever is happening in my life, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and physically. The enduring constant is my commitment to working with the nonhierarchical and pragmatic language of geometric abstraction.

The circle is the most archetypal of all the forms I use: it has a universal resonance so frequently found in art, architecture and ritual; an evocation of the universe and the heavens; the journey inwards, or outward, to or from the center; a symbol of wholeness, completion and infinity; the unbroken line with no beginning or end; the eternal cycle. I often use the circle commemoratively (First Light), and I frequently use concentric formations as way of looking back at myself, exploring my own complexities (Psyche #1).

I use circular and striped motifs to summon ideas about music (Ragamala). This painting is based upon a poetic tradition in Indian painting meaning “garland of sound” and alludes to sound and music. The “raga” is a conventional pattern of melody and rhythm that forms the basis for freely interpreted compositions. I use this convention to make multiple references—to sound and vision, to time and place. Concentric formations replace the sequential, durational “whole.” Color provides contextual mood and energy.

Recent work moves away from the self-contained order of earlier configurations towards a more informal relationship with architecture, landscape, nature and the environment. Only partial sequences of activity may be visible, with interruptions in registration suggesting transitory, fleeting impressions (Shift). The circle is no longer always complete or contained: colored arcs collide and cross over, briefly joined in connective flashes as they continue their independent trajectories (The Aviator and Alayrac #4). Atmospheric, poured pigment grounds provide both context and contrast for carefully over-painted multicolored geometric detail. Series of architectonic formations become equivalents for specific environments: a nighttime walk through London (Dark City Light City #1), a canal towpath (Canal Green Red) or the majestic incised rock faces of abandoned Balearic quarries (Quarry #16 /#17).

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