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Akvarellkonstnären Robin Tynan från Storbritannien besöker Helsinglight AAiR - Alternative Artist in Residence

Watercolor artist Robin Tynan from UK visits Helsinglight AAiR - Alternative Artist in Residence

UK based watercolor artist Robin Tynan next to join our test group for Helsinglight AAiR - Alternative Artist in Residence!

Next artist arriving to try out Helsinglight AAiR - Alternative Artist in Residence will be watercolor artist Robin Tynan from Leeds, UK. Robin says art and creativity has always been a part of her life but it was only in early 2018 that she began focussing on using watercolour and fountain pen. She found the ease and speed of how images could be created to be very freeing and well suited to the peculiarities of living with a chronic illness.

Robin began creating pieces that described and represented her struggles with mental health, initially as a way of trying to explain particular elements to her therapist. Robins therapist encouraged and supported her use of art to explore her mental health and those initial sketches became a series of paintings. The combination of traditional techniques and colour theory used with modern application and abstract painting allowed her to express difficult concepts and feelings in a way that more usual figurative work could not.

The Helsinglight project and space looks like the ideal space to continue exploring abstract and non-conventional use of traditional art materials. As somebody who belongs to various minority groups and subcultures it can be difficult to find a place in the traditional art scene. The alternative artists project at Helsinglight sounds like the ideal opportunity for me to embrace my unconventional style and work in a supportive and enriching environment.

Projects Robin wants to work on during her residency stay at Helsinglight AAiR

During my stay at Helsinglight AAiR I would like to continue work on my mental health series called “Inside my Brain”. The project currently has six paintings to it with plans for several more exploring different aspects of my mental health. As part of this project I want to create a multisensory experience for people viewing the work so I plan on creating a sculptural piece that continues the work of interpreting emotions and the experience of living with mental health in a manner that can be interacted with with both touch and vision.

Additionally I will be making a sound installation to accompany the pieces, again, reflecting what it is like “Inside my Brain” and broadening the sensory experience. I would be working in ink, watercolour and clay for this project. I am looking forward to the Helsinglight Residency to inspire me to go even further!

Artist Statement - Robin Tynan

Though I used to paint as a teenager I put down the brush for many years and only picked it up again earnest in 2018! Despite having experience with acrylics I have fallen in love with watercolours and that's my primary medium these days along with ink. I really enjoy breaking the boundaries of what makes "traditional" watercolour painting and like to paint abstracts, conceptual pieces and large scale modern landscapes. I've shown and sold art at the Doncaster Arts Fair and the Fastminds festival in London as well as auction pieces for the charity mind. I'm preparing for a show in Leeds this coming autumn which will be my first solo show featuring a collection of pieces relating to mental health. I love using art to explore and help describe the impact of mental health in myself and others. It can be a real tool for communication and the expressive, loose and quick nature of watercolour is very conducive to getting my thoughts onto paper.

As well as mental health I am very interested in exploring changing landscapes in the UK. I like urban sketching - fast fountain pen sketches with watercolour washes to capture the surrounding architecture, and focus on the contrast of old buildings with modern architecture. I like taking this a step further and imagining future and sci-fi landscapes which honour, make use of and reflect the current state of our cities and countryside. I find that working loosely in ink with watercolour helps to bring these ideas and buildings to life and to tell a story of a modern world which is sensitive to the natural land as well as our history.


*Kulturbryggan (Kulturbryggan is an alternative financier which, by allocating grants to projects, will promote renewal and development in the cultural area throughout the country)

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