Title: The Silent pain of Oppression
Dimensions: width: 120cm, height: 30cm, depth: 30cm
Notes: wood plaster and paint
Country: United Kingdom
Born in Belfast in 1964, Deirdre Robb was educated at the University of Ulster, (BA Fine and Applied Arts) before completing her Master’s in 2001. She is an award-winning contemporary artist whose studio practice has a multi-disciplinary approach including sculpture, installation art, collage and painting. Her work is conceptually based, commenting on social, political and cultural events.
Since 1999 her artworks have been widely exhibited with shows in Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy, Holland, Germany, Kentucky, Michigan, Nashville, Ohio and Australia. Robb has been awarded residencies in Louisville, Artopia & The Water Tower, Padua, Katoomba and Tyrone Guthrie. Major festivals and programmes she was invited to participate in are; ‘Chevy-In-the-Hole’ in Flint, ‘Scenic World’ Sculpture exhibition in the Blue Mountains Rain Forest, The ‘Grasses’ project in Kentucky, and her sculpture installation ‘Swell’ in the George Best Belfast City Airport for the inaugural East Belfast Arts Festival.
Robb also curates visual art programmes with a primary focus on excellence and challenge in visual arts practice. This includes delivering public art and socially engaged programmes such as the ‘Urban Meadows’ & ‘Wall of Hope’ as well as the celebrated ‘Art in the Eastside’, the largest project of its kind in Ireland, which presents work from national and international artists on billboards and outdoor temporary installations in Belfast.
Robb is a founder member and former Chairperson of Creative Exchange Artist Studios where she remains a resident artist. She is a former Director of The Engine Room Gallery & the Hedge Gallery in Belfast. She is a member of the National Collage Society and the International Society of Collage Artists.
Robb responds to perceptions of cultural identity relating to the conflict of the artist’s native Belfast as well as globally with countries experiencing political and social unrest. Since childhood Robb’s life was shaped by the 40 years of Northern Irish ‘Troubles’, terrorism, religion; the 15 years of an on-going disaffected ‘Peace Process’ and the impasse on ways for the country to move forward inflicted by the main political parties.
Robb’s most recent art is an exploration of people’s preoccupation with national identity and religion that leads to racism, hate crimes, intolerance of other cultures and social upheaval. Her work represents many experiences resulting from war, conflict, persecution and oppression of human rights.
As breaking news, current affairs, battle scenes and war cries become the norm they are considered an accepted part of a struggle for freedom or invasive capture. Robb claims these instant images flowing through a reckless media create a near sterile political and emotional environment. A large void in the quest to record, document and screen the sensationalism of conflict is the innocent people caught in the cross–fire of politics and terrorism.
‘The Silent Pain of Oppression’ sculpture focuses on the voice of these blameless victims that are dominated by the dictatorship of power who overshadow their grief, pain and prevent the healing process of peace and reconciliation.