FEATURED ARTIST: GRACE TOBIN

CONTEMPORARY ARTIST GRACE TOBIN SPECIALISES IN A GRAPHICAL PAINTING STYLE.
RHODES is excited to introduce our newest artist, Grace Tobin. 

Grace Tobin is a British emerging contemporary artist with a passion for pattern, colour and exploring our relationships to the environments we inhabit and how these connections impact our sense of self. 



Grace reconstructs and challenges our sense of space, subtracting material to present a segmented reality. The graphical style of these paintings, paired with repetitive patterns, mirror the themes of imperfection and repetition in our lives and routines. Grace's work exhibits the speculative, contemplative moments in which we are formed, informed, and reminded by our surroundings over time.

 

Along with her study of environments as made up of objects in the domestic setting, Grace also considers how this embodiment of the psychological and physiological connections we create in our world can be expressed through abstracted figural and botanical forms.

 

 
Grace Tobin
10 O’Clock, 2021
Oil on Canvas
Unique Signed Original
90 x 120 cm
35 3/8 x 47 1/4 in
 

Grace reconstructs and challenges our sense of space, subtracting material to present a segmented reality. The graphical style of these paintings, paired with repetitive patterns, mirror the themes of imperfection and repetition in our lives and routines. Grace's work exhibits the speculative, contemplative moments in which we are formed, informed, and reminded by our surroundings over time.

The motifs of semi-recognisable objects in the backgrounds on Tobin's paintings are a reminder and serve to link memories of objects that we have shared experiences with. These domestic motifs invite the viewer into Tobin's abstracted scenes. 

 

 

Detail from, 10 O’clock, 2021

 

We were lucky enough to interview Grace Tobin regarding her creative practice, motives, and her newest collection with us:

 

What’s the starting place for your paintings? 

 

My work explores the environments and narratives we may overlook in the chaos of our daily lives.  I am usually in the middle of one painting when I begin to formulate how to push the subject, composition, context, or colour scheme even further. I will be grabbing paper and blocking out of the next work while I’m still developing my current painting.  On smaller gouache paintings, I experiment and refine how much information I need to illustrate the context of my composition. There is this fine line in the abstraction of my compositions – between the flattening and redefining of space and maintaining a control and exactitude in the composition.

 

What kind of themes do you explore in your creative practice? 

 

Although my paintings vary, I am consistently exploring our relationship to the environments we inhabit and how this impacts our sense of self and identity. My interest is in illustrating the speculative, contemplative times in which we are formed, informed, and reminded by our surroundings over time. I paint scenes as glimpses into a segmented reality. I’m always considering how body language and negative space works to convey such sentiments.

 

I see my work as sitting in the intangible expanse between the known and unknown. With paint and pattern, I want to express how feelings, experiences and understandings can shift with a change of perspective or focus. Working between the dichotomies of presence and absence, similar and different, and the defining of space and place, my work seeks to clarify feelings of home. These dualisms manifest in my visual, physical and psychological creative process.

 

 

Grace Tobin

Flowers With Names Forgotten, 2021
Oil on Canvas
Unique Signed Original
145 x 112 cm
57 1/8 x 44 1/8 in
 

What draws you to your signature graphical painting style? 

 

I am drawn to space revealing just enough information for the viewer to have an idea of the setting or context for the scene I am painting. This ambiguity has developed into a graphical style – where the sharp edges or contours can suggest some context of the space in which these figures or objects exist, but also gives room and space for the viewer to put their own understandings or impressions into the negative or open spaces of the works.

 

The anonymity of my figurative forms gives greater value to the environmental context and objects. I invite the viewer to reflect on their personal associations with certain environments, experiences, objects, or relationships that inform their own understanding of place or self. The segmented reality I paint is heightened through my pairing of the graphical with a use of repetitive pattern. I pair down the figure and botanical forms and re-imagine how an environment mirrors the psychological and physiological connections we create to our world. 

 

 

Grace Tobin

Midnight Bloom, 2022

Oil on Canvas
Unique Signed Original

56 x 36 cm
22 x 14 1/8 in

 

What is the role of pattern in your work? 

 

Pattern for me is where I can show my love for detail – for the little things I find exciting in the everyday. Be it the design on a teacup or the stitching on a sofa cushion, I think that there is something within these details that give us information on the person who owns them. They too once looked at those details and admired them. In that way I think our environments can shed so much light on who we are and gives us information on the individual creating a sense of place.

 

The graphical style of my painting is paired with repetitive patterns and repeated shapes, mirroring the themes of imperfection and repetition in our everyday lives and routines. The painting of pattern functions as a form of meditation in its pleasant monotony, similar to the way we form attachment to the structures of routine in our lives.

 

My fascination with pattern stems from my long-term interest in the natural world. Flower and botanical forms can be found throughout my work; the geometrical structures and history, are used both symbolically and as a resource for creating shape and structures within my paintings.

 

 

Detail from, Flowers With Names Forgotten, 2021

 

How do you choose the colour palette for your paintings? 

 

Colour plays a large role in the graphical style of my work. The emotional state of a painting can be conveyed by the colour scheme – be it the loudness of a certain red drawing the figures forward, or the dark subtleness of a green pushing an object into the background. Without using shadow to create a depth of perspective in the composition, the work relies more heavily on the differentiation in colour and the curves and angles of the scene to create the space.

 

What does the future hold for your practice? 

 

I’m looking forward to continuing to explore the abstraction and subversion of space in my work.  I am particularly interested in seeing how far I can push the distortion of the environment or context of the figure or objects that are the focus of my paintings. How can I bring my curiosity for the botanical into greater conversation with the domestic spaces I am drawn too. By blurring the lines between more of these dichotomies I hope my works reflect the value I feel exists within the small moments or details we often overlook.


 

Grace Tobin 

On Occasion, 2022
Oil on Canvas
Unique Signed Original
112 x 145 cm
44 1/8 x 57 1/8 in
 


If you would like further information about this new collection, you can contact us via info@rhodescontemporaryart.com or alternatively you can call +44 (0)20 7240 7909

August 5, 2022