Deirdre Robb Statement 2017
Born in Belfast in 1964, Deirdre Robb was educated at the University of Ulster, (BA fine and Applied art) before completing her Masters 2001. She is a contemporary Irish artist whose studio practice has a multi-disciplinary approach including installation art, sculpture and mixed media works.
Her practice comments on political, cultural and social events alongside strong autobiographical references through life experiences. Primarily through sculpture, the work translates to become environmental and personal narratives. Her work draws on the unique qualities of a site-specific space sometimes relying on public interactions to complete the work. Recurring themes include, change, transition, feminism and power.
Robb’s current work ‘MENOPAUSE’ relates to of the process of entering menopause. The work reveals both the emotional and physical changes that reflects the withdrawal symptoms of estrogen from a woman’s body. Artworks include sculptures, Installations, photography, drawings, video and performance work. Contained within the artworks are visual representations of transitions relating to the body, as well as documenting pain, tension and beauty.
The works are intended to create dialogue with both men and women about the effects that menopause can have on a woman’s life.
Her artworks have been widely exhibited with shows in Ireland, UK, Italy, Holland, Germany, Kentucky, Michigan, Nashville, Ohio and Australia. She has also been awarded residencies in Lousiville, Artopia & Water Tower, Italy in Pauda, Katoomba near Sydney and Tyrone Guthrie in Ireland. Art festivals and programmes that she has been selected to participated in are ‘NYF’ Dublin, ‘Passion for Freedom’ in London, ‘Free City ‘in Flint, USA, ‘Scenic World’ Sculpture exhibition in the Blue Mountains Rain Forest and the ‘Grasses’ project in Kentucky. Locally she has exhibited on numerous occasions in the International acclaimed Belfast Festival at Queen’s as well as her installation ‘Swell’ in the inaugural East Belfast Arts Festival in the George Best Belfast City Airport.
Robb also curates programmes with a primary focus on excellence and challenge in visual arts practice. This includes delivering public art and socially engaged programmes such as the ‘Starlings’, ‘Urban Meadows’, ‘Wall of Hope’, the ‘Wish Project’ and the critically acclaimed ‘Art in the Eastside’ programme which presents 50 artworks from, national and International artists on billboards and outdoor temporary Installations based on social engagement and collective thought.
She is a founder member and former Chairperson of Creative Exchange Artist Studios where she is currently a resident artist. She is a member of the National Collage Society and the International Society of Collage artists. She is a former Director of The Engine Room Gallery, The Hedge Gallery, New Belfast Community Arts Initiative, Community Arts partnership and the Northern Ireland Visual Arts Forum.