As a collaboration of two artists painting on the same canvas, with very different methods of using paint, Jason Robinson and Helen McMahon are guided by reaction and response, not imposing rules or process. A finished work exists as a result of all marks made by both artists, whether they are still seen, been obliterated or have just left a trace.
The practice shows their distinctly different painting styles which have a dissonant harmony, a playful discussion, muted versus loud. There are times though when there is no harmony or discussion but rather a full blown argument and attack on each other’s marks. A number of these paintings have been left to calm down over a few years and as they have become more considered of each other’s actions, these battle scarred paintings have been salvaged. Sanding has bulldozed some of the blights but still left a trace, foundations that have been built upon and smoothed over, a kind of beauty from the rubble. Their paintings exist because of the other; not necessarily bearing equal marks, but coming to a compromise, a resolution to find a kind of harmony.
Jason Robinson and Helen McMahon started to work together whilst studying BA Fine Art at The Cass School of art and design, graduating in 2011. When they were awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Purchase Prize, they decided to continue to collaborate, sharing studio space, music and arguments. Their work was recently selected for The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2015 and The RWA 163 Annual Open Exhibition 2015. A selection of their work is currently on show in The Narrow, Limehouse, London.
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