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(mis)adventures of the solitary self

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.

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Justin Robertson_It's Alive_Catalogue
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”
Justin Robertson

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.


Private view of "It's Alive" exhibition by Justin Robertson. Book Club 26/04/2018


You can view and download the catalogue here..




Justin Robertson presents 'The Explorer's Chronicle' June 2016 catalogue

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.

They are framed (and in most cases mounted) in plain white wooden frames as shown in the examples below.


You can Download and view the catalogue here....

  Justin Robertson presents ‘The Explorer’s Chronicle’ June 2016 catalogue

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