In my travels around this beautiful earth of ours, I come to know many artists. This August, on a cross country, coast to coast, road trip with my husband Billy, we stayed in Penrose, Colorado with artist/poet, Robin Neher. I can’t say she is a conventional artist in the traditional sense of meeting the expectations of galleries and popular opinion, however, Robin meets the expectation of a deeply, internal process. As is also true with poetry, some people will like her work or understand it and others will have no interest.
“Materials and cultural myth are what interest me. At some point even cultural myth springs from one individual through ritual. Currently, I use mixed media materials, including found objects, to express my interests in both personal and cultural mythology. I have been particularly influenced by the philosophies of Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Rollo May on the topics of mythology and creative expression. I see art making as a form of personal ritual. As art makers we are all influenced by our cultural mythology. And then, at some pivotal point in our ritual, our personal myth will begin to appear and evolve. To me, this is when we have come home in our art making.”
As an example, a deeply insightful individual, such as Carl G. Jung, through the work with his dreams and his patients found there to be a collective unconscious mind. This mind, as a region, contains symbols and myths of all humanity. The discovery of the collective unconscious is now a myth that many embrace as their own. The mystery of how images and ideas surface from the unconscious mind intrigue Robin. With her attention focused on this bubbling mystery brew, she begins to see how it enters into art.
Robin’s first experience with art came as a child playing in a sand box. She was fed by being outdoors under the trees, listening to the birds, and using nature in her sand box. “I think making art is a deeply spiritual process. I believe art expression can be experienced by everybody. There is a time in each person’s life, most often in childhood, when the artist or creator in each of us appears before any skill comes into play,” explains Robin.
Robin begins her art with the intrigue of a found object stimulating her at a core, aesthetic level. Some piece of wood, a nail, a feather appeals to her visually. “The play of process is my ritual in beginning a piece,” says Robin. She has a relationship by way of an emotional reaction to an object whether man made or from the natural world. From the point of finding an object that she has a relationship with, it is like solving a mystery through transformation. It is her personal myth she is expressing while in the artful process and ritual of investigating the joys, sorrows and the imaginings of life. Robin’s hope is that her art will inspire a personal myth-making in others. Robin lives in Penrose, Colorado on a farm with her husband and 52 alpacas.She can reached at: email@example.com