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#14



Robin Webb was born in Norwich 1976
He studied at Norwich School of Art and Design 1995-96
He lives and works in Norwich


We are presented with a selection of fifteen paintings of various sizes hung on three walls of the gallery and a smaller painting on board hung on the final wall.. Snoopy stands under a tree with a seated man wearing a cloak, a bear nestles an egg comfortably upon itŐs belly, a dog is about to bury a brightly coloured bird in a square hole, another bear stands at a tree stump with a meal of meat and berries spread on a tablecloth before it, there is a cat, and a dog, Snoopy stands proudly atop a tree stump lit from below, a squirrel wears a feather Native-American style, a box is propped up with a stick, a rabbit sits at a table with smaller-scale birds flying about, Snoopy wears a red hoodie, a skull sits within a gothic looking chair, a bear proudly shows its carving skills, three crows wear red shawls and Barbara, medicine woman, stands next to a totem pole made of Calvin, Hobbes and Snoopy, and a solenodon and a pike sit together at a table with a piece of meat between them.


A discussion between Kaavous Clayton and Robin Webb at Outpost on 28 November 2005.

Kaavous Clayton: When I first heard your title was going to be "Great Lakes" I started to think of lakes of oil paint and pools of thought. What does the title mean to you in relation to the show?

Robin Webb: I was thinking of it in terms of great lakes of things felt. As if you were aware of this massive lake always on the edge of your sight.

KC: Sounds elusive. Have you tried to include this quality in your paintings?

RW: Yes and no. Not elusive just not too obvious.

KC: Okay. What is the importance of the animals in your paintings?

RW: It's their environment. They're not people lost in the wilderness. They can deal with it.

KC: So you're showing us bits of their world that we will never be able to get to. Is it a place that you'd like to visit?

RW: No, I'm not showing you a place you can't visit. Tourists can visit the Great Lakes. You may have already been there. Its just the animals have been elected to represent you, because you might not cope on your own.

KC: It sounds as if it's both a dangerous and comforting place. Is that right?

RW: Yes.

KC: What kind of feelings are you trying to convey through your paintings, if any?

RW: An inkling that there are these things that will carry you through. The painting where the dog is burying the bird in the woods, that's not a lonely funeral. The trees and the dark are there.

KC: It seems as if your paintings are filled with hope and a belief that there is a better place just out of reach. You've said that it's not an unobtainable place or feeling, is it something you want to draw people's attention to?

RW: You make it sound quite preachy. Its not supposed to be heaven. Its more akin to the place you were before you were born. It's about holding on to certain things rather than anything to aspire to.

KC: I understand that it's not preachy, it just is, but by portraying it and showing it to people there is always going to be an element of wanting to make people aware of it. It seems like such a peaceful place or feeling that the audience is bound to want to attain it.

RW: I think a lot of people are already aware of it. That way of thinking or feeling that throws up really personal work like this. I know like three or four. If it seems like a peaceful thing that's fine, but it doesnŐt always happen like that. There is often a feverish feeling about proceedings.

KC: What is the most important aspect of your paintings?

RW: I can't really answer that.

KC: Is there anything else you'd like to say?

RW: Plenty.

KC: Good. Thanks.

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