Robyn Lea’s first solo exhibition took place at Trinity College, Melbourne University, Australia in 1991, and she has since gone on to have over twelve solo shows around the world and numerous group exhibitions. Her work has been exhibited in Russia, Asia, Zimbabwe, and Italy among others. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Verso Expo’ at the prestigious Vittoriano Museum in Rome, hosted by the American Embassy in conjunction with the City of Rome and opened by the U.S.A. Ambassador to Italy; the World Expo James Beard Foundation launch of her exhibition ‘Cena avec Jackson Pollock’ at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan; and an exhibition of her work at the Australian Consulate General in New York, hosted by the Australian Consul the honorable Nick Minchin. Lea’s work encompasses photography, mixed media, moving picture and writing. Her work has been published globally including in The New York Times, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Time and Harpers Bazaar. Lea’s editorial stories have been translated into five languages and her recent book ‘Dinner with Jackson Pollock’ was launched at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy.
Working on the series for this exhibition gave me the opportunity to explore the ever-changing, constantly evolving nature of street art. I began thinking about the artists who create the work in the street and imagining the street artist as a woman who is exploring her own identity in the form of illegal work on public walls. Who was she? Why was she compelled to work in this way? What was it about the nature of the creation of the work and the inevitable destruction of the work over time that reflected stories about the artist herself? For me, she was both the artist and also as artwork. The artwork was fading on the walls, exposed to the elements of the harsh Williamsburg winter, then the bleaching and bubbling effects of the humid, opaque summer. Then other artists would paint, draw, paste and, consciously or unconsciously, destroy the work over time. I worked with photography, paint, pencil and pen, as well as with electronic pens and brushes. The process of creating each image was multilayered, and evolved over time. With each new layer the image was further destroyed until the original was only partially recognizable. Again, the process itself mirrored the layered and changing aspect of street art. The series explores concepts of permanence/impermanence, protection/vulnerability and our resistance or acceptance of change in our own lives.
Styling: Bec Cole - Coco Productions
Model: Kelsey - Chadwick Models
Hair and Make Up: Victoria Martin - Hart & Co.