Using line drawings, colour and text, Robin Richardson transposes the sensibility of poetry into illustrated works, creating bite-sized, artistic meditations on the terribly wonderful, malleable and absurd experience of being alive. Richardson’s intuitive works—inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts—are drawn from fleeting, conscious contact with various notions and emotions; they feel their way around meaning and what it is to be human.
It’s here, amongst animal imagery and Jungian psychological concepts, that the viewer can, if not careful, become lost in a collection of unsettling yet playful art: themes of loss, fear and euphoria are materially manifested through felt pen and pencil crayon. Within these works of art are scraps of consciousness, demons brought into the light of day and shared as if to say, clearly: you are not alone.
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Praise for Try Not to Get Too Attached:
“Try Not to Get Too Attached is an incredibly haunting self-portrait, the visual record of one artist’s journey into the psyche’s frayed and messy reaches, where “everything is so vivid,” as she puts it. I keep originals of Robin Richardson’s art on my walls to remind me of that vividness every day, whether it comes in the form of beauty or terror or something else altogether.”
“Robin Richardson’s beautiful, surreal drawings are both calming to the senses, yet somehow haunting. There’s a wonderful and fantastical implication of a running narrative throughout the works, which seemingly invite the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Yet there’s something calming in the search, almost transcendental. The text she employs adds to the sublime, perhaps as otherworldly ads, slogans, or even medieval logos on acid. This collection of her art is like discovering a lost treasure. I love them and can’t stop looking at them!” —Gary Taxali
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Off/Kilter x Beautiful Books: Try Not to Get Too Attached —All Lit Up
“Richardson’s typewriter-style lines of text (which are all rendered by hand), embedded in what can only be described as medieval-style emojis, are bittersweet, at once the wry humor of a teenage girl and the dark wisdom of a grown woman.” —Megan N. Liberty, The Brooklyn Rail
Robin Richardson is the author of three collections of poetry, including Sit How You Want, winner of the 2019 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, and named one of the best books of the year by CBC Books. She is Editor-in-Chief at Minola Review. Her work has appeared in Salon, POETRY, The American Poetry Review, The Walrus, Hazlitt, Best Canadian Poetry, and Tin House, among others. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and a BD in Design from OCAD University. She has won the Fortnight Poetry Prize in the U.K., The John B. Santorini Award, The Joan T. Baldwin Award, and has been shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize, The Walrus Poetry Prize, and ARC Magazine’s Poem of the Year Contest, among others. She lives in Toronto.