In my latest body of work, I am investigating my personal experience of growing up in the Mississippi Delta in the 1960’s and 70’s with all of the complexity, richness, and contradictions of life in a small, conservative, southern town. The themes I am interested in exploring include issues of race, religion, and social mores associated with this area of the Bible Belt. This includes an examination of historical and cultural responses to the nature of sin, purity, violence and redemption.In my work, I employ the use of typical southern iconography along with personal symbols that are important to me. I frequently juxtapose this imagery with broader, more universal elements. By combining these items visually, I am suggesting connections and associations across time and place and between seemingly disparate situations and events. There is something almost mythical about the deep south that is every bit as dark, powerful and timeless as a Greek tragedy or a Shakespearean comedy. My goal is to exploit these associations and to provide a fresh perspective of the rural south. I hope to encourage the viewer to reflect on historical as well as contemporary challenges and to perhaps invite a reexamination or reevaluation of one’s own prejudices and preconceived attitudes associated with race, religion and cultural differences.
-- David Robinson
I grew up in a small town in the Mississippi Delta in the 1960’s, an area which has been described as “the most southern place on earth” because of its unique racial and cultural history. On one hand, the rural south was idyllic and pastoral, with pristine woods, bodies of water, and open fields to navigate and explore. On the other hand, it was also a time rife with racism, overt homophobia and the ubiquitous hand of Christianity. These conditions contributed greatly to my role as a person and artist and to the themes I am currently exploring in my work.Although I don’t have a formal degree in ceramics or art, my education has included a variety of formal classes in drawing, painting and art history at Georgia State University. I have also participated in numerous ceramics workshops, seminars, and residencies over the years including classes at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center (where I also worked as a studio assistant for a few terms), CherryLion Studios, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Penland School of Crafts, and Mudfire in Atlanta. In addition to my undergraduate degree in English and French from Delta State University in Mississippi, I also have a graduate degree in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University. In 2015, I left a position in the corporate world and committed myself to working full-time as a ceramic sculptor.
Over the years, I have been represented by and/or have participated in shows at The Signature Gallery (Atlanta, GA), Muse & Co. Fine Art (Roswell, GA), Kibbee Gallery (Atlanta), The Swan Coach House Gallery (Atlanta), The Ardavin Gallery (Atlanta), The Seen Gallery (Atlanta), and Crimson Laurel Gallery (North Carolina). I have been in over 30 juried and invitational shows throughout the US and have had my work featured in 3 different publications.
My residencies include a four-month summer residency at The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana (2017) and a three-week residency at The Hambidge Creative Residency Program as a Distinguished Fellow (Rabun Gap, Georgia, 2016). I have also been selected for a 10-week residency at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado for the spring of 2018.
— David Robinson