The Story behind the Art
The values of what are art works and how a viewer responds is different. Each culture has a differing set of conventions and at times there is a lack of understanding or acceptance. Sometimes it is like straddling two worlds as some have said, but to Robin it is more like working the space between.
There is a story that when the first light shone between the two primal parents, Ranginui and Papatuanuku, it was the between, like the space between breathing in and breathing out, avoid filled with light, the light of this world. The name for this light was Te Ao Marama. Much of the work completed is the exploration of this space between the space between Maori and European traditions, between tapu and noa, positive and negative, light and dark, and Ranginui (Sky) and Paptuanuku (Earth).
The manu (bird) is used as a connector between earth and sky, and works in the world of light as a messenger and a go between past and present. The manu connects us to Golden Bay where the old name is Mohua; Mohua is also the name of the little yellow headed manu (bird). It has become a motif for the whanau of the area and represents a guardian (kaitiaki) status.
The waka (canoe) is our life with all the histories carved on it, it is the carrier of the seed from past generations into the present so therefore is the holder of the wakapapa (geneology).
The completed and presented works are part of a journey that has involved an exploration of places, values, people, histories, materials, methods and processes, visually expressed, through the head, heart and hands, (red, white, and black), of an artist living in a special area. As an artist he is always working towards the works having a universality with other places and areas though they are based on a specific locality and that connect on an individual and collective level.