Robyn Grove is an Australian contemporary figurative artist, working out of the Juddy Roller Studios in Melbourne. Her current body of work is a representational style of portraiture, where both the physical and intimate character of her subjects are captured with great sensitivity. She also dabbles in the tradition of Vanitas still life; contemplating life, death and the space between.
As alumni of Sydney’s The Julian Ashton Art School, Robyn maintains the school’s Atelier perspective that drawing and anatomical study are critical aspects of painting, Following this tradition, she’s a regular at Melbourne’s many themed life drawing groups. This fascination with human anatomy breathes life into her works; however, she’s not happy to simply capture appearances. Getting to know her subjects allows Robyn to gain an understanding of their interests, philosophies on life, motivations and past-times, providing her portraits with an insight to the psyche beyond the physical.
Robyn’s studio work is usually oil paintings on wood panels, canvases or hand-made paper. These surfaces impart a unique character to her artwork as she often utilises the elements of the substrates, such as wood grain or the coloured, graphic paper pulp, as visual elements. Robyn’s street murals are typically painted with acrylic house paint, yet maintain the same realism style as her studio works.
For her 2018 solo show "Persona" at Off The Kerb gallery, Robyn created a series of intimate portraits capturing Melbourne-based performers; including burlesque, dance, voice, magic, sideshow, drag and cabaret.
She asked the question: "who are these performers when they step off the stage, strip off the elaborate costumes, the hair and makeup, and they move away from the lights?" To that end, she attended many public performances by her sitters as a baseline for their public personas, then researched each further through life drawings, one-on-one catch-ups and photoshoots. Openness and trust were established in order to present the private people who live behind the veils of their public lives.
In April 2019, Robyn joined an exciting line-up of local and international artists at Australia's largest annual street art event, "Wall to Wall Festival" in Benalla, north-eastern Victoria. Her piece "Down the Rabbit Hole" sits under the Benalla library, adding a literary themed mural to the rich and diverse collection of art that adorns this mural town.
For information and to download the town map with mural locations, visit the festival website: www.walltowallfestival.com/