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Robin Paris

Nature, environment and cultural traditions inspire and inform Robin, who lives and works on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. Her resist-dyed paintings have been exhibited across Britain since the early 1990s, and internationally.

In her current art-research project, Reading the Land, Robin is exploring patterns and relationships designed into Bodmin Moor’s landscape by our prehistoric ancestors, and interpreting findings for a major series of dyed paintings. Previous themed work includes streams and pools of Bodmin Moor, marine ecosystems, and nature’s life cycles.

View from Long Tom I
View from Long Tom I
Woad on linen
46 x 46 cm
Ant Pair
Ant Pair II
Woad on cotton
44 x 39 cm

Dyeing mostly with woad (Isatis tinctoria), Europe’s native indigo, Robin’s vats are produced through natural methods; woad pigment is mostly sourced from Norfolk though she also grows and processes some herself. Formerly she worked with fibre-reactive dyes, enjoying the brilliance and flexibility they allow with direct application; colour was central to her batik work at this time. Transitioning to the blues of woad and dip-dyeing required re-learning and experimentation and Robin’s techniques and style are still evolving.

Dandelion Ley
Dandelion Ley
Fibre-reactive dye on cotton
57.5 x 93.5 cm
Vang Vieng
Vang Vieng
Fibre-reactive dye on cotton
76 x 76 cm

The traditional Malaysian canting is Robin’s tool of choice for hot-wax application (beeswax) but she utilises and develops alternative methods with scrap, found and home-made tools, including wire stamps for repeat patterns. Robin’s naturally-dyed paintings are on organic cotton and linen.

Source of the Fowey
Source of the Fowey
Fibre-reactive dye on cotton
50 x 57 cm
Pond at Trewint Marsh I
Pond at Trewint Marsh I
Fibre-reactive dye on cotton
137 x 80 cm

Concerns for planetary health leads Robin to research her basic materials; articles about the origin and production of beeswax, cotton and soda ash were published in the Batik Guild Magazine between 2006 and 2009. Robin’s research interests now include the historical and prehistorical use of dyes, particularly woad.

Source of Penpont Waters
Source of Penpont Water
Fibre-reactive dye on cotton
165 x 67 cm

Robin gives workshops in hot wax and other resist techniques, woad dyeing, and rust and tannin dyeing, for adults, schools and in community workshops (especially archaeological, environmental or wildlife contexts). Robin has been teaching and running workshops since 1996, and in 2006 completed a PGCE (post-16) at Plymouth University.

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