My abstract painting practice is an exploration of pattern and color. In my work, I build up layers of paint and medium, starting with a piece of fabric and incorporating repeating patterns that are both timeless and reminiscent of a particular time and place.
Among the many elements I bring together in a piece, I often use designs borrowed from vintage wallpaper. With these patterns, I induce a sense of sentimentality for things we may see every day without noticing, but which feel like “home”. Many of these patterns are considered “feminine”, associated with the decorative sphere, and thus disregarded, in the same way that women’s work has often been historically overlooked. I aim to elevate these, to lend them importance.
I add layers of raised rigid geometric repeats, which I create using thick acrylic medium pushed through stencils. These contrast with the more purely decorative surface designs. While working on several paintings at once, I build up many layers on each piece over weeks. Each layer may involve multiple techniques, including drips, swipes and crackled textures.
These abstract works are coming from a place of honoring the domestic and the everyday, while examining the complicated feelings one can have about home. They celebrate surface and depth, inspired by a fascination with the decorative elements we are surrounded with in our daily lives at home. They are designed to evoke nostalgia, coupled with the realization that you can never go back to the way things were.
—Heather Robinson, 2019