Robyn Neild

Robyn has worked primarily as a Fashion Illustrator for the last 25 years and always been drawn to texture and movement and a wish capture it. Having done so in 2D she wanted to explore more tactile, gestural approaches using clay, wax, paper & found textures. She started modelling figures in movement which were then cast in bronze using the 'lost wax' technique. 

Robyn speaks about how her work has evolved after her time spent living in the harsh landscape at Dungeness... 

In 2017 I was fortunate enough to spend the spring and early summer months in Dungeness, a flat shingle expanse of stark beauty, staying at Derek Jarman's Prospect cottage a wind battered black tarred traditional fisherman's cottage.
The fact that every day I'd walk the length of the estate from my remote home near the nuclear power station to the bus stop and travel the slow one hour to my studio and then back each evening.

During these walks I'd pass several of the abandoned shells of an old fishing boat, the timber keel bone dry and sun bleached, and I'd admire its graceful arcing presence defying the harsh elements in a silent, slow motion destruction. As I repeated these journeys day in and day out, the form became a familiar and personal image in my mind and so too the idea of creating my own interpretation as a homage, a reminder, a tactile memory of my time in 'the fifth quarter of the globe'.

I began by modelling a basic former in clay, the foundation shape from which I could develop and experiment, to replicate the bent and nailed wood which clings to the outside of the hulls skeleton. Once the recognisable shape of a boat was created I'd play with the form by adding wax, fragments of driftwood and plant life that I collected during my walks in Dungeness. I wish then to take the emotion fragile and ethereal and transform it into a more unyielding permanent structure and once again found bronze the perfect foil for my vision.

These bronze boats are many things to me, the simplest of which is a discovery and progression in my artistic practice. At another less tangible level they are sentinels that guard a part of me from a time I will long remember, and family to the heroic forms that watch over a magical place.

Robyn is now working on a solo exhibition to be placed around the Nuclear Power Station at Dungeness.

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