Nina Martine Robinson is a contemporary textile artist born from the tradition of sewing and crafts. Over the past 7 years she has been pushing the boundaries of fabric, transforming cloth and clothing remnants into sculptures and immersive installations.
Her upcoming exhibit at the Hutchinson Center for the Arts, Neurotangle, will presents textile based artworks exploring her experiences parenting a child with Autism.
1. Describe your work in 15 words or less
Process based fabric manipulation utilizing a variety of textiles including, re-purposed clothing exploring neurodivergence.
2. Can you name a couple artists/makers/craftspeople who inspire/influence your work and why?
My inspiration comes from two main areas, fashion design and contemporary art.
Iris Van Herpen, Dutch fashion designer whose amazing creations often defy description and are often more sculptural than clothing. She is my current “go to” when I need some fabric manipulation inspiration.
Rei Kawakubo, Japanese fashion designer whose fashion sensibility is often considered radical. I have been inspired since the 1980’s by her shapes and color combinations.
Lindsay Rhyner had a Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program exhibit at Mia in 2016 called, “Material Worlds”. Her large scale textile wall hangings changed my perspective about how textiles are being used in contemporary art. It was this show that cemented the idea for me that I could work as a contemporary textile artist.
3. What is the first piece of art you remember creating?
I have always been a maker. In the 1980’s I began creating one of a kind artist dolls. That evolved into wearable are. I was involved in the fine crafts world for many years. It wasn’t until 2013, when I returned to college to earn my BA in Studio Arts at Augsburg University, that I started to make what I would consider art. My focus of study was watercolor and I challenged myself to utilize my sewing machine in all of my art classes.
4. When you start a new piece/project where/how do you begin?
Often the fabric dictates the next project, although lately I have been doing work around my experiences as a mother of an autistic son. Typically, I prep the fabric by finishing the edges and then create a series of pintucks and folds starting at one selvedge and going randomly across the fabric until it takes shape.
5. When not in the studio what do you like to do for fun?
Sew!! No….really! I like to sew clothing for myself and that often gets put to the bottom of the pile. I love to travel to other cities to visit museums and art galleries. As a child this was incorporated into our family vacations.
Neurotangle by Nina Martine Robinson will be on view September 3 – 27th with a free public reception for the artist on Sept 5th from 5- 6:30 pm. Gallery talk to be held at approximately 6 pm.
The 2019 Visual Arts Exhibition Series is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
And through our generous sponsor Melchert Hubert Sjodin