Freddie Robins is an artist, curator and educator. Her studio practice questions conformity and notions of normality, and intersects the categorizations of art, design and craft. She uses knitting to explore pertinent contemporary issues of the domestic, gender and the human condition, more recently exploring and expressing intimate feelings of sadness, fear and loss. She finds knitting to be a powerful medium for self-expression and communication because of the cultural preconceptions surrounding it. Her work subverts these preconceptions and disrupts the notion of the medium being passive and benign.
She has built up an extensive and innovative body of works and has exhibited extensively most notably in Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York and The Art of Fashion: Installing Allusions at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Her work has been published in magazines and books, including
Contemporary Textiles: The Fabric of Fine Art, (Nadine Monem, Black Dog Publishing, London, 2008), KnitKnit: Profiles + Projects from Knitting’s New Wave, (Sabrina Gschwandtner, Stewart, Tabori and Chang, New York, 2007) and Textiles Today, (Chloë Colchester, Thames & Hudson, London, 2007).
In 2003 she represented the UK at a Triangle Arts Workshop, Britto International Artists’ Workshop, in Bangladesh. In 2004 she undertook a residency at Galerie sphn, Berlin. Later that year she was invited to co-curate Knit 2 Together – Concepts in Knitting for the Crafts Council. She also instigated and curated Ceremony at the Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park, London. Ceremony explored the role of craft in the paraphernalia and rituals associated with the rites of passage. The exhibition culminated in the Knitted Wedding of Freddie and artist, Ben Coode-Adams organized by the knitting collective, Cast Off. In 2006 she received an AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council UK) Small Grant for the Creative and Performing Arts to enable her to further develop her work through the use of computerized, automated knitting machinery and “seamless” knitting technology through a project entitled, The Perfect. The resulting pieces formed part of her solo exhibition Body, Nobody, Somebody at Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, Bergen, Norway. They were also shown at her solo exhibition, The Perfect at Contemporary Applied Arts in London.
She has been a member of the Crafts Council Development Award Selection Committee and a Curatorial Advisor to “Axis”, for their curated on-line programme, “Open Frequency”. In 2010 she was a selector for the Jerwood Contemporary Makers alongside Hans Stofer and Richard Slee.
Her work is held in both private and public collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, (London, UK), Crafts Council, (London, UK) and Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, (Bergen, Norway).
She has been a Visiting Lecturer in Textiles at many art institutions across the UK and has taught projects at Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden and Kunsthøgskolen, Bergen, Norway. She is currently Senior Tutor for Mixed Media Textiles at the Royal College of Art, London, UK.
The Perfect statement
Currently showing in:
Fifties, Fashion and Emerging Feminism [a contemporary response]
Curated by Day + Gluckman
Collyer Bristow Gallery, London WC1
25 May – 21 September 2011
A new Hook. Re-thinking needlework
Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Switzerland
29 April – 24 July 2011
Art & Fashion. Between Skin and Clothing
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany
5 March – 7 August 2011
7th International Triennial of Contemporary Textile Arts
10 June – 25 September 2011