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‘Existence’: Artist Robin Gillow’s exhibition puts life in the picture

‘Existence’: Artist Robin Gillow’s exhibition puts life in the picture

It’s been a while since Robin Gil­low last exhibited her drawings and paintings in Phuket. Well-known for her work both locally and internationally, ‘Existence’ is her first exhibition following a five-year break from painting after her husband Kevin, known on the local sailing circuit, suffered a stroke in 2014. Fortunately, Kevin’s health has steadily improved and Robin has once again been afforded the lux­ury of studio time in her self-designed container home.

Art
By The Phuket News

Monday 28 January 2019, 02:00PM


Robin, born and married in South Africa, headed to Australia with Kevin in 1983, a move that saw the couple add a daughter and their beloved yacht Poco to the family. A number of years sail­ing between Australia, Africa and Asia followed, enabling Robin to exhibit her work far and wide, picking up commis­sions en route.

‘Existence’ is Robin’s ninth exhibition in Phuket and those who follow the art­ist will easily recognise her style and de­piction of her subjects. That’s not to say that new surprises won’t be on display, though.

“My style changes with my mood, the subject matter, the light available at the time I am painting or simply whatever medium I have on hand at that moment,” Robin says.

“My work varies from total realism – particularly with my animal or human portraiture – to impressionism,” she adds.

A tribute to Robin’s revived life as an artist, as well as life in general, ‘Exist­ence’ promises to suit all manner of crea­tive tastes. There are a few of her much loved graphite drawings, pen and ink drawings, a number of oil paintings and her ever-interesting collages, all with their added ‘Gillow’ touch.

Most intriguing of all, though, are her abstract works and use of oil pastel on canvas, the latter being the newest addition to the artist’s creative palette.

One of the larger works and more abstract pieces on display is ‘ADRIFT’. Completed earlier this year, it expresses Robin’s emotions when the opportunity resurfaced for her to paint again.

“With my husband’s continued health improvement, I could float free from the restrictions the situation had placed on us as a family and create again,” Robin says.

“There is more to this work, but I leave you, the viewer, to contemplate its full meaning,” she adds.

One of Robin’s more realist works, titled ‘LIFE’S EDGE’, was coinciden­tally completed the day of her husband’s stroke. Not one to dwell on the negative, she instead sees this piece as having taken on further meaning; as a begin­ning rather than a loss or ending; the ebb and flow of the tide bringing new life.

It will be a while before Phuket resi­dents and tourists will have a chance to view Robin’s work again as the latter half of 2019 will see Robin and her hus­band returning to Australia for several years. While there, Robin will prepare work for a number of exhibitions along the east coast (from Queensland south to Melbourne, Victoria).

She will also return to animal portraiture, in particular equine por­traiture, one of her favourite creative past-times for which she is renowned in Australia, South Africa and Kenya.

These works will depict the stud farms – racing or otherwise – event ven­ues and the horses themselves, her aim being to both publish a book of the works as well as exhibit the collection before re­turning to Thailand in a few years’ time.


‘Existence’ will be on display at Mom Tri’s Wok Gallery Kitchen, located at 32/78 Patak Rd, Rawai, between Feb 1 and March 31. For more information, or for an appoint­ment to visit the studio, contact the art­ist directly on +(66) (0) 81 797 1421 or at robinzart@gmail.com

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