Artist Robin Lee’s latest project Apathy is a natural progression from Regrets, his acclaimed (and somewhat infamous) alternative Valentine’s exhibition at Barts Pathology Museum in February (covered in After Nyne 6).
It all started on Valentine’s Day 2014, when Robin popped out from his Camden Studio for some groceries. He passed a couple on the street who were clearly breaking up – he couldn’t help but overhear them as he passed:
Her: ‘Do you have regrets?’
Him (clearly upset): ‘Yes, having ‘USELESS’ written across my heart.’
And, like a bolt from the blue Robin knew what his next artistic exploration would be. He forgot about the apples and milk and went about the dubious task of sourcing extracted hearts.
Thinking about what people might regret, Robin started with over thirty one-word possibilities. These he whittled down to six, and soon presented the concept to friend, collaborator and author Russ Litten. While Robin executed the grisly job of embellishing his hearts with self-criticisms as scars and calluses Russ was inspired to write monologues, each from the point of view of the owner of the heart, reflecting on their one big mistake.
Fast forward to Valentine’s 2015 and the beautiful Grade II listed Barts Pathology Museum where enlarged photographs of the augmented hearts were hung alongside the museum’s 5,000+ medical specimens.
Russ’s monologues were recorded by actors to accompany each image as an audio track, creating REGRETS, Robin Lee’s first ever multi-media show.
For Apathy, Robin and Russ once again collaborate to create a powerful image and monologue, this time exploring the consequences of apathy…
It is an addendum to the ‘Regrets’ exhibition Feb 2015 at Barts Pathology Museum and has been specially commissioned for the 2015 General Election, to be part of Blank Canvass the virtual art gallery hosted on Tumblr, which features specially created works from top UK artists including Antony Gormley amongst others – see below for more information.
Robin says “I’m not one for apathy, either in art or politics. By contributing to Blank Canvass 2015 I was happily scratching both itches. Now go vote!’”
Blank Canvas is a historic reflection by the UK art world on the state of Britain as we go into one of the closest-fought elections on record.
Visit Blank Canvas: http://blankcanvass2015.tumblr.com/
Follow: @blankcanvass2015 @robinhowardlee