Cameron Robbins: Solar Loggerheads

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2 March – 5 May 2019

Cameron Robbins’ work harnesses the power of the weather, converting and using the energy inherent within natural elements like the wind, sun, rain and tides to create autonomous drawings. Constructing mechanical instruments to translate this energy, Robbins engineers and hand builds unique analogue drawing machines that generate distinctive and repetitious mark making transcribing nature and its forces. Solar Loggerheads is a large-scale drawing instrument that brings together conflicting forces of creation and destruction. Locked in a continuous spin cycle, two opposing kinetic armatures draw and erase across the same flat surface. Powered by solar energy, the drawing mechanism creates animated marks in a circular motion while the rotation of the eraser is activated by mains electricity.

A strange equilibrium occurs as these two rival points weave around each other, drawing and erasing across the other. Solar Loggerheads was commissioned by the Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, for Robbins’ 2016 solo exhibition Field Lines and is now part of the Gippsland Art Gallery collection. Robbins’ expanded drawing practice has seen him involved in a number of residencies and site-specific projects around the world including the Socle Du Monde Biennale, Denmark, Brighton Festival, UK, Nordisk Kunstarsenter Dalåsen, Norway, and the Setouchi International Festival of Art, Japan. His large indoor/outdoor wind drawing instrument Wind Section Instrumental is a permanent installation at MONA which will create drawings for the next 50 years.

Cameron Robbins, Solar Loggerheads 2016, mixed media, Collection Gippsland Art Gallery, Donated by the artist and [Mars] Gallery, Melbourne, through the Australian Government Cultural Gifts Program, Photo: Rémi Chauvin, installation photograph from ‘Field Lines’, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, © Cameron Robbins, Image courtesy Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart