Freddie Robins (b.1965) lives and works in Essex and London. Currently Senior Tutor and Reader in Textiles at the Royal College of Art she works to commission and exhibits nationally and internationally.

Statement

Freddie Robins’s practice crosses definable categories of art, craft and design. She combines these elements elegantly, and with playful wit subverts meaning and making, fusing a melting-pot of approaches to ‘craft’.

She uses knitting to explore pertinent contemporary issues of the domestic, gender and the human condition, as well as the cultural preconceptions surrounding knitting as craft. Her work aims to disrupt the notion of the medium as passive and benign. Her pieces often incorporate both humour and fear. There is also a display of almost obsessive perfectionism in the quality of each piece’s hand-made finish.

Through the recent process of converting a 16th Century barn into her home and studio, her approach to making and materials has radically shifted. Her most recent body of works, Out on a Limb, has developed over the last year from a new expedient approach to making, utilising samples and surpluses, things donated, inherited and found.

The finished pieces evolve from the process as opposed to being designed and made. They explore themes of violence, fear, pain and loss. Titles, as ever, are integral to the meaning of her work.

Freddie Robins has work in private and public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Nottingham Castle Museum, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum and KODE – kunstmuseene i Bergen. She is exhibited internationally, including most recently at COLLECT at the Saatchi Gallery, London Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2011, Korea, A new Hook. Re- thinking needlework, Museum Bellerive, Zurich, and Art & Fashion. Between Skin and Clothing, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany.

Andrée Cooke, Curator, 2013

Selected Bibliography

Freddie Robins – Body, Nobody, Somebody, Anybody by Dawn Ades Read text

L’art féminine by Clare Doherty Read text

Joking Apart: the work of Freddie Robins by Linda Sandino Read text

Bad Mothers: Regulations, Representations and Resistance, Michelle Hughes Miller, Tamar Hager and Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich, Demeter Press, 2017
ISBN 978-1-77258-103-4

Crafting Textiles in the Digital Age, Nithikul Nimkulrat, Faith Kane and Kerry Walton, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016
ISBN 978-1-47428-620-6

What they didn’t teach you in art school, Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley, ILEX, 2016
ISBN 978-1-78157-410-2

The Feminist Uncanny in Theory and Art Practice, Alexandra M. Kokoli, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016
ISBN 978-1-47250-558-3

See Yourself X: Human Features Expanded, Madeline Schwartzman, Black Dog Publishing, London, 2016
ISBN 978-1-910433-22-5

The real thing: essays on making in the modern world, Tanya Harrod, Hyphen Press, London, 2015
ISBN 978-0-907259-50-3

Art & Fashion. Between Skin and Clothing (catalogue), edited by Markus Bruderlin and Annelie Lutgens, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg / Kerber Art, Germany, 2011
ISBN 978-3-86678-538-0

Extra/ordinary: craft and contemporary art, edited by Maria Elena Buszek, Duke University Press, USA 2011
ISBN 978-0-8223-4762-0

In the Loop: Knitting Now, edited by Jessica Hemmings, Black Dog Publishing, London 2010
ISBN 978-1-906155-96-4

Contemporary Textiles: the fabric of fine art, edited by Nadine Kathe Monem, Black Dog Publishing, London 2008
ISBN 978-1-906155-29-2

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Exhibitions

2017

Between things, Minories Art Gallery, Colchester.
What do I need to do to make it OK? The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

2016

Liberties, The Exchange, Penzance, Cornwall.
Flat-out Lowlanders, Blackwater Polytechnic, Feering, Essex.
Big Steam Print, Museum of Art + Craft, Ditchling and Phoenix Gallery, Brighton.
What do I need to do to make it OK? Crafts Study Centre, Farnham, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey, Devon, R-Space Gallery, Lisburn, Northern Ireland and Forty Hall, Enfield.
Some rocks and a hard place, The Sentinel Gallery, Wivenhoe, Essex.
OTHER exhibition, Courtyard Gallery, Royal College of Art, London.
COUNTER_FITTERS, Geddes Gallery, London.

2015

Sluice 2015 with the Blackwater Polytechnic, Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London.
What do I need to do to make it OK? Pump House Gallery, London.
Liberties, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London.
Brocki, Blackwater Polytechnic, Feering, Essex.
Sex Shop, Transition Gallery, London.

2014

Exchange Rates: The Bushwick Expo, Theodore:Art, Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Yan Tan Tethera, Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London and touring UK.
Sex Shop, Folkestone Fringe 2014, Kent.
The Essex Secession, Blackwater Polytechnic, Feering, Essex.
Freddie Robins, Artifex gallery, Vilnius Academy of Arts, Vilnius, Lithuania.

2013

Sluice 2013 with The Essex Embassy from the Blackwater Polytechnic, London.
Happy Days, Blackwater Polytechnic, Feering, Essex.
COLLECT, Project Space, Saatchi Gallery, London.
A celebration of works by Martha Fiennes, Freddie Robins and Alice Cicolini, Spring Studios, London.

2012

Transformations, Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
40:40 – forty objects for forty years, Crafts Council online exhibition
http://www.4040.org.uk

2011

Bite-Size: miniature textiles from Japan and the UK, Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation, London, Gallery Gallery, Kyoto, and Nagoya University of the Arts and Sciences, Japan.
Contemporary Craft, HERE & NOW, Cheongju International Craft Biennale 2011, Korea.
Fifties, Fashion and Emerging Feminism [a contemporary response], Collyer Bristow Gallery, London.
7th International Triennial of Contemporary Textile Arts, Tournai, Belgium.
Art & Fashion. Between Skin and Clothing, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany.
A new Hook. Re-thinking needlework, Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Switzerland.

2010

The Art of Fashion: Installing Illusions, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Extraordinary Measures, Belsay Hall, Northumberland.
The Endless Garment, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
Draw: Turning Thoughts into Line, Royal College of Art, London.

2009

Dritto Rovescio, La Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy.
Dress Codes: Clothing as Metaphor, Katonah Museum of Art, New York, USA.
Making and Mending, Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Concerning Matter, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London.
Think Tank takes on Skill, Contemporary Applied Arts, London and touring Europe.
The Peckham Experiment, Space Station sixty-five at Camberwell Space, Camberwell Art College, London.

2008

Cloth & Culture Now, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich and Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

2007

Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting, Museum of Arts & Design, New York and touring USA.
Crimes of Omission, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, USA.
Body, Nobody, Somebody, KODE – kunstmuseene i Bergen, Norway (solo).
The Perfect, Contemporary Applied Arts, London (solo).
Wintry, Lounge Gallery (Monika Bobinska), London.

2006

Johnny Foreigner, Kunstforum Rheinhessen, Essenheimer Kunstverein, Germany.

2005

Ceremony, Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London.
Reveal, Castle Museum, Nottingham.
Knit 2 Together: Concepts in Knitting, Crafts Council Gallery, London and touring.

2004

Flexible 4: Identities, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and touring internationally.
Cosy, Queen’s Hall, Hexham (solo).
Them Indoors, Geffrye Museum, London.

2003

Cosy, The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, Scotland (solo).

2002

Cosy, firstsite at the Minories Art Gallery, Colchester (solo).
Metamorphing, Wellcome Trust Gallery, The Science Museum, London.
Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2002: Textiles, Crafts Council Gallery, London and touring UK.

2001

Shelf Life, Gasworks Gallery, London touring to Spike Island, Bristol and Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool.
Free Radicals, Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden and touring.
Adorn, Equip, The City Gallery, Leicester and touring UK.

2000

Out of the Closet, Sotheby’s, London.
Freddie Robins, firstsite at the Minories Art Gallery, Colchester (solo).

Selected Private and Public Collections

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Crafts Council, London, Castle Museum, Nottingham, Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, KODE – kunstmuseene i Bergen, Norway, Spring Studios, London, Szombathely Art Gallery, Hungary.

Selected Commissions

1999

Commissioned by inIVA (Institute of International Visual Art) to create a multimedia work for X-Space, their experimental web space http://www.iniva.org/xspaceprojects/robins

1998

Public Art Commission, Hands of Hoxton, by the London Borough of Hackney for Shoreditch Library, London.

Residencies

2004

Galerie sphn, Berlin, Germany.

2003

Britto International Artists’ Workshop, Tepantor Film City, Bangladesh – a Triangle Arts Workshop.

Awards and Scholarships

2013

Grants for the Arts award, Arts Council England/National Lottery.

2012

Shortlisted for Women to Watch 2012, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, USA.

2006

AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), Small Grant for the Creative and Performing Arts.
Research Development Award, Royal College of Art.

2003

Travel Award to Bangladesh, British Council.
Visual Arts Research Award, Goldsmiths College.

2002

Shortlisted for the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2002: Textiles.

2001

London Arts Award.

Education

1987-1989 MA (RCA), Royal College of Art, London.
1984-1987 BA (Hons) 1st Class, Middlesex Polytechnic, London.

read full Curriculum Vitae

Press Archive

Read full Press Archive

Links

Further information and images of work can be found on the following sites:

Royal College of Art – Staff Profile
www.rca.ac.uk

Blackwater Polytechnic – established by Freddie Robins and Ben Coode-Adams as an informal educational establishment that is now promoting the creativity that is found in Essex through The Essex Embassy
www.blackwaterpolytechnic.com

Grand Designs – Freddie Robins and Ben Coode-Adams convert a 16th century timber framed barn into a home, studio and workshops in Essex
www.channel4.com/programmes/grand-designs

Victoria & Albert Museum – interview and pattern for Conrad from Odd Gloves
www.vam.ac.uk/knitting

TextileArtist.org – Disrupting preconceptions of craft interview
www.textileartist.org

Make Believe – online journal of innovative writing about craft, design and creativity. Make Believe supports writing that is beautiful, radical and wise. Since 2013, it has considered, ranted, struggled, mused on, and thought about the process of making.
www.makebelieve.ie

WAL App – App developed for the Women’s Art Library (located in the Special Collections and Archives of Goldsmiths Library, University of London).
Download App here

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