Tate Modern, Verdant Brewery collaboration. ‘The First Note’.
From the Verdant Brewery blog…
‘We recently had a proposition from the Tate in London, asking if we would like to work and collaborate on their upcoming exhibition between Hilma AF Klint & Piet Mondrian. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity!
For this collaborative project, we have been paired with Mondrian and tasked with making a beer and label artwork that has been inspired by the artist. No mean feat!
We brewed this new collab beer with the help of the Tate Eats team, who came to visit us at the Brewery a few weeks ago. Hopped with Idaho 7, Galaxy, Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin, this 5.2% Pale Ale is incredibly juicy and dank. Our head brewer James Heffron describes it as “a matrix of latitudinal and longitudinal lines, positions and flavours. Drinking it will journey you through the visible and invisible territories of our collective hop, malt, water and yeast experiences. Join the dots, colour the gaps, dream the dreams, devour the world… Together.”
To finish off the project, we asked Justin Robertson for a piece of art, inspired by Mondrian’s work, that would be featured on the can. He picked one of his amazing paintings, THE FIRST NOTE, which also became the name of the beer.
Justin Robertson said: “Human senses can often be inadequate tools with which to capture the manifold mysteries of the reality we are all enmeshed in. I’m fascinated by what we might be missing. ‘The First Note’ translates in a visual form the hidden occult connections made by sound as it blossoms out into the world. Notes once created take on a life of their own. Sound may emerge from musical instruments, animal howls, bird song or the crack of stone but once born these notes make their own way in life to be interpreted and appreciated in a million different ways.
Both Piet Mondrian and Hilma Af Klint are huge influences on my work not only in their use of pattern and colour that is both simultaneously harmonious and revolutionary, but also in their theoretical exploration of the invisible. Their work is like a fantastical map of an alien landscape in a territory that borders our own but is somehow just out of reach.”
Art From the Tangle.
Art from the Tangle’ is Justin’s latest collection derived and inspired by his illustrations from his debut novel ‘The Tangle’. The images conjure with the hidden dimensions that lie just outside our grasp but which intersect with us nonetheless. The work includes paintings, photographs and collages on canvas, wood and paper
Justin Robertson’s debut novel is a trans- dimensional trip into the mysterious knot of nature; a journey into the ‘brilliant darkness’ where the timeless divine spirit of the ‘Tangle’ weaves its spell and all mankind’s hubris is rendered insignificant by the radically non-human force of phantom ecology. Salvation, revelation and a terrible reckoning dwell in the ancient roots …
A time traveling account of what occurs when unknowable frontiers are breached and humanity finds itself, once again, lost in the woods, THE TANGLE invites us into a grotesque world of eco-horror, echoing with the spirit of writers such as Saki, Ballard, M R James, Ursula Le Guin, Brian Catling and Thomas Ligotti.
View the work here http://www.justinrobertson.co.uk/product-category/art-from-the-tangle/
When the Dark is Light Enough.
‘When the dark is light enough’ examines the structure of the hidden fragments that hide in the things around us and discusses how, due to our faulty human perspective, we are often mistaken as to their nature. Even the things we create, like paintings, can have layers of meaning that escape us, once created they take on a life of their own, becoming infinitely mysterious, even to their creator.
Using a variety of mediums including painting, photography and UV printing techniques, the work imagines the world from the perspective of the object, with the human subject being only a peripheral element. Humans are seen only briefly, cast as acolytes, or struggling particles trying to grasp their place in the confusion. The secret worlds of brush strokes and paint blobs are explored, the orbits of planets are examined, the unending process of decay and becoming is frozen and captured on film or imagined in paint.
Reality flows relentlessly around us, a continually evolving swarm of fragments and relations, which we try in vain to grasp hold of as the torrent tumbles past. Sometimes reality offers us a tantalising glimpse into its manifold complexity, but we are just too limited and faulty to fully understand it. So, we try to deny its existence by making reality reliant on our dubious patronage. ‘To be is to be perceived’, but the universe goes on, and the objects in it will maintain their mystery even when the observer crumbles to dust. What comfort can we take from the acceptance of our own limited capacities?
What joy can we find now that our insignificance has been revealed? Well, we can always imagine. We can dream of finding a way into reality’s mysterious flow. What if the objects were to give up their mysteries, to reveal those parts so carefully hidden from us? This collection imagines what we might find if we drifted on a different axis away from the human pivot and into the secret life of things. Occult dimensions beckon!
Link to When the Dark is Light Enough catalogue – http://www.justinrobertson.co.uk/dark-light-enough/
A study in solitude both voluntary and enforced where separation, loneliness or estrangement from the world, can be both frustrating but sometimes rewarding. Hermits, mavericks and outsiders can mutate events and change our thinking, but those suffering loss or the isolating effects of illness can feel trapped and unable to communicate. Both can feel very much Alone. Though a solitary existence can lead to enlightenment, isolation often extinguishes meaning as sure as a vacuum extinguishes a flame.
The work has two major strands. There are haunting figurative pieces where the subjects seem to be struggling to break through an invisible barrier, hoping to communicate from a different dimension and striking symbolic images, where signs and signals convey a sense of an isolated ego connecting back into a greater reality.
The pieces are rendered in oil, acrylic and pencil on resin coated paper to give the work a natural feel, as if they have been drawn on wood or skin. Collage adds a feeling of fractured images trying to reassemble themselves in some pieces, while others are presented on brushed aluminium to give the work a changing perspective. A living, breathing texture is apparent throughout the collection.
Link to ‘Alone’ catalogue. http://www.justinrobertson.co.uk/alone/
Continuing his exploration of various philosophical themes, his latest exhibition challenges the concept of the machine mind and our human desire for escapism through debatable notions of transcendence. It explores what it is to be human, what it is to be a conscious being and to what extent everything is ‘alive’
“We can outsource parcels of our consciousness into books, music, inventions or devices. These objects live on even after our biological frames have long decayed. We may not be identical to these objects, but nor are these objects the dead things we might think either. They are the receptacles of our wishes our desires and our beliefs. We imbue them with character, give them names, take their counsel, even worship them”
The works are rendered using a variety of techniques including pencil drawings, digital, oil painting and photography. Some pieces incorporate all these techniques in a process that leads from the simple to the complex, reflecting the pluralism and variety found in the natural world, where an atom can be studied on its own, but can only be truly understood as part of the whole.
THE EXPLORER’S CHRONICLE
Following on from 2015’s highly acclaimed “Everything is Turbulence’’ Justin Robertson presents a new collection of art, text, music and conversation.
“In many ways I think I’m looking back to my childhood where you instinctively knew that the imagination could be as much of a handy guide to reality as the pavement you inevitably fell over on. You can conjure up all manner of possible worlds just by imagining what they might be like – this is one of those possible worlds. It’s about the mystery of science, the joy of exploration and the importance of the imagination.
Set in a parallel counter factual universe where all the desires and needs of the population are anticipated and fulfilled by an entity called The Central Abacus; the people are ostensibly happy, but essentially they are stuck in an endless feedback loop unable to move forward, unquestioning and un inquisitive. One amongst the happy populace stumbles upon a collection of dusty sketches and fragments of text.
The weathered Chronicle he unearths describes a fantastical journey to a possible galaxy populated by bizarre creatures, where the expected laws of nature are turned on their head. This startling revelation could lead humanity to question all they have considered to be solid and concrete, spurring them on to cast off their lethargy and embrace the challenge of the universe: to seek wisdom, but never certainty.”
The artworks derive from drawings and sketches on paper. Through a high quality, giclee printing process the images are scanned and photographed, bringing to the forefront the strong tones, textures and shapes in each one-off piece.
Time to cast off for uncharted territory dear friends
EVERYTHING IS TURBULENCE
A Fantastical Journey Into Outer Everywhere.
Justin Robertson, a restless creative kind of fellow, known for his genre bending dj sets and fearless recorded output, is also a painter . Following a critically acclaimed show at London’s Neu Gallery, Justin is taking his pictures on tour, expect an exploration into a fantastical world where the human mind is turned outwards searching for mystery in these prescriptive times rallying against the certainties of our scientific era, this collection celebrates the possibilities of the imagination, as well as touching on the two subjects all good art should… Death and Monsters.
Having completed his latest long player, the ever restless Robertson put aside his musical devices and took up his brushes , for a spot of artistic exorcism. A compliment and extension of his recorded work, this collection covers many of his main concerns and interests.
Themes include magik, possession, the supernatural, fantastical creatures, the history of belief, irrationality, past times and cultures, uncertainty and alien lifeforms….
Justin draws on a variety of influences from mid 20th century science fiction, dystopian literature, Stone Age cave painting, folk art, fantastical creatures from the medieval era through to the golden periods of Elizabethan and Jacobean exploration, the trashy covers of 60’s and 70’s sci-fi fiction, ancient Greek myth, a healthy reverence for the Hammer Horror series, in fact anywhere that imagination is allowed to explore beyond the known, to create its own vision of reality, a pallet of fear, mystery and wonder.
This is the Art page for Justin Robertson, the DJ, producer and painter based in London. For Justin Robertson (the Purposemaker) the artist from Fife, Scotland please click here
FEBRUARY 5TH – 12TH 2015 @ NEU GALLERY, 30A Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP
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APRIL 1ST – 13TH 2015 @ OUTLAWS YACHT CLUB, 38 New York Street Leeds LS2 7DY
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APRIL 15TH – 28TH 2015 @ ELECTRIK BAR, 559 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 SAE
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May 27th onwards 2015 @ RicheLilla Baren@RicheBirger Jarlsgatan 4, 11356 Stockholm, Sweden
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