My images are about seeing and feeling without knowing. Enigmatic narratives and scenes excite me, whether the subject is underwater, on the surface of a body of water, or wandering the earth. The images are often surreal, with room for the viewer’s imagination. I create prints in the darkroom, where I enjoy freedom of expression through experimentation, while honoring my training in traditional west coast photographic techniques. It all comes together in images which I hope convey feeling and resonate with the viewer in an unconscious way.
New Work – I am driven to explore mystery and metaphor found in all forms of life, focusing especially on the way we look at the planet and ourselves. My new series is based on ideas about the human species and the relative permanence of the earth, with questions about our brief time here. This unique moment on the planet feels unsettling and desires perspective. My intention is to provide intimate suggestions of our place in this liminal state, reflecting on the planet’s origins, our own lineage, our physical and spiritual presence, and the future of humans being. My prints are each unique results of an alternative photographic darkroom process that I feel conveys the mystery and elements of our existence. The images are in sequence, representing a sort of timeline of the evolution of our planet.
Underwater Series – The images in these series explore the sense of being underwater, literally and metaphorically. I hope that these images will contribute to the viewer’s sense of their own inner and outer worlds, as well as the world at large. The series evoke curiosity about the ocean’s deep landscape, how it relates to dry land, and what is “normal” for human beings, now and in our rapidly changing environment. I create these prints using traditional darkroom techniques, including toning. My handmade process is important to the power of these fine prints, which echo early photography, when exploration and expression of the landscape was vital. For anyone curious, I have been diving on SCUBA for 30 years and use a Nikonos V film camera.
Surfacing Series – The Surfacing series puts the viewer in or on a body of water, looking across its surface. I am interested in the tension and serious psychological themes which “surface” in these images. To fully realize my vision, I use hand brushes in the darkroom, and later paint the image with dyes. I have also been printing this series using copper bleach and lith developer, which creates magical grain and tones. Each print is one of a kind.
Toy Camera Series – Toy camera is a category of cameras which includes the original and new Diana Cameras, the Holga series, and anything else which is cheap and fun. I started using a Holga in 1999 as my land camera. “To use a Holga is to utterly change the terms of reference most people use to interpret photography.” —Holga packaging.
Robin V. Robinson is a 5th generation California central coast native. She received degrees in Engineering and Music from Stanford University and Cal Poly, SLO. She studied photography with West Coast Photography mentors and at City College of San Francisco and Foothill College. Robinson shows her work in community venues and art galleries internationally, in corporate spaces, private collections and museums. She has received top awards in international photographic competitions, and her work is in the permanent collection of the Monterey Museum of Art, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, and the Mariners’ Museum in Virginia. Robinson was a Fine Print artist at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA, and is a board member of the Monterey Friends of C.G. Jung. Her work recently appeared in Dark Mountain, issue 13.
Robinson embraces the element of chance, both underwater and in her Monterey, California, darkroom. “My time in the darkroom is full of ‘what-ifs.’ The experimental nature of chemistry allows me to explore pathways which are magical, alchemical in feeling, transformational in the end. This type of play and chance are what I love about analog photography, not to mention a satisfying original print.”