I was thrilled to meet artist, Gillian Robinson, at her solo exhibition in Paphos, on Saturday. Her exhibition, ‘…and we know nothing’, was held in memory of David Robinson at the Othomanic Baths, last week.
David was a talented musician, and contributed to the exhibition by composing an original and masterly soundtrack.
The historic bath house was the perfect setting to display Gill’s nostalgic and evocative books. They seemed to be from an ancient world. Some had rusty metal locks, and one in particular looked as if it had been discovered on the seabed.
The atmosphere of the historic baths made the ancient books feel reverential. But, in a contradiction, the visitor was invited to interact with the work. I was able turn their delicate pages, and read the secret words scrawled there. It was a unique experience. The visitor was trusted to respect the books, and Gill considered the interactions as adding to the books’ existence and history. Some tomes told a story without words. For instance, the pages held a piece of the artist’s surroundings at the time she formed the book.
On one level, with the arrival of the digital world , the exhibition almost seemed to present the death throes of ‘The Book’. But, on reflection, it reminded me of our archetypal connection to them, and our need to preserve and value them. As an illustrator, it was important for me to see how special books are to Gill.
I’d like to say thank you to Gill for giving me her valuable time at the exhibition. And also her words of encouragement with regard to my career in Art.