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Artist Talks: Mimi Robson

Mimi Robson is an artist based in Cornwall. Her work is powerful in creating a sense of calm and tranquility for the viewer. Saying this though, the energy and movement in her work really captures the sea. I admire how she is able to create such beautiful mono prints. Her use of a minimal colour palette combined with interesting shapes and layering to create an atmospheric print is beautiful. In the nature of mono prints, in my experience, is not really knowing quite what you are going to achieve with a print, she uses this to her advantage as I think this captures the movement of her subject matter. Mono prints can be created quite quickly and are spontaneously. She produces work that has a real fluidity. It is not static, I have only really experimented with some elements of mono print. I have often struggled with the idea of layering. In my own practice some pieces appear muggy and disjointed. However looking at Mimi's work, it shows that with patience and precision (which I need more of) beautiful atmospheric work can be created. Mimi was very kind and has answered some questions I had about her work and practice. 

This is an example of one of my etchings where I can combined monprint elements. It was one of the more successful ones however I'm still learning. Seeing Mimi's work has made me want to try and use more Monprint within my practice. 

What is it about the sea and the outside environment that influences your work?
I have always loved being in the ocean, ever since I was young, so always pursued a life that was close to water. As I grew older, I recognized the clarity of mind it gave me, and the energy for creation that I drew from that. As well as being overwhelmingly beautiful, and visually abundant with inspiration, its enormity holds deeper themes of space, time, and our presence and humanity for us to contemplate.





What has been your favourite collaboration?
A current one. I am working with my friend who owns a small plant and lifestyle shop in Falmouth, called Toro. I found myself spending a lot of time in the shop drawing, always feeling very inspired by its fantastic energy and vitality. So we decided to create prints and greetings cards to compliment the space. It has been a bit of a sideline to my actual practice, and although I use the same disciplines, the work needs to express a different kind of energy. It has been so much fun and a challenge.

Which artists influence you?
My influences are always fluctuating as I come across new artists, but there are a few which never fail to inspire me. Sax Impey, Trevor Bell, Cy Twombly, Monet, Fabienne Verdier; I can’t get enough of them! I think it is the sense of mystery and the sensitivity of their touch that I am captured by. I’ve been privileged enough to get to know Sax a little, and to be inspired by his manner, as well as his work.



What did art school teach you about yourself?
I learnt so much about techniques, history of art , etc. But I think mostly it taught me to listen to myself. At that point in your life you are under a lot of influence; from tutors, peers, friends, the ‘scene’. But you know which work is truly expressive of yourself, and it’s your voice that you should listen to. I will carry that discovery with me forever.

What has been the best exhibition you’ve been to?
It was a show of Cy Twombly, Monet and Turner at the Tate Liverpool. Of course, as some of my most loved artists, I was so excited to see their works and overwhelmed by the beauty of them together.

What do you like about working in the print room?

It is the place where I am most focused and productive. I work mainly in two disciplines, etching and mono printing, which have very different characters; etching is very controlled while mono printing is spontaneous. So my mind set depends on how I am working. With etching I find myself in a meditative state. Working through the many motions it requires to etch a plate, slow and steady. With mono printing I have to work fluidly and be patient with myself. Although the printmaking is very quick, it is very honest. How you see the print is how it was made. I find it takes a long time to find the rights state of mind where I can be that honestly expressive. I always leave the studio feeling completely exhausted and gratified. 

All images are from Mimi's website (mimirobson.com). I want to thank her for giving me permission to use these images. 
Mimi also has Instagram where she uploads work and talks about current collaborations. 

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