Artist Statement: Joan Robey
I recycle old materials. The most immediate part of the process is in seeing an
object in a new way, removed from its original context. In reference to the Japanese
aesthetic of wabi-sabi, there can be an implicit sadness in discarded objects that
celebrates transience and imperfection, paired with a positive opportunity for their
The materials I use are selected specifically for surface and form, and the elements
are combined to become metaphors for psychological situations. My work, while
poetic in nature, also depicts chaos isolated in time and space. Circles, lines, squares
and rectangles, aligned in combinations and in relationship to each other, articulate
my observations of the human condition. Gravity and inevitability force us in one
direction; Random and unpredictable events cause us to respond with spontaneous
reaction. Life’s “dance on the edge of the sword” forces us to move between balance
and chaos. Duality is at the core of my work.
My concerns are with composition. Complex relationships emerge from simple
juxtapositions. I refer to the discussions of Kandinsky and Malevich on the power of
basic forms and shapes. The “right” combination of simple line, dots and planes has
the ability to express and reflect tension that is quite real and primal. My hope is
that the viewer feels the dynamics/tension in viewing my pieces, as if coming upon
an act of chaos in midstream.
By projecting human predicaments onto inanimate objects, I can begin to objectify
the human experience. In this way, the irony of our circumstances becomes
apparent. The overlay of the human spirit adds the necessary humor.