Robyn Backen is an interdisciplinary artist and recent recipient of the Australia Council Fellowship for 2012-14. Backen’s new body of work evolves from her research into the acoustics of ancient whispering architecture. Her installations are often technologically complex yet are minimal in appearance. Systems become the subjects of her work, like those of language and code, classifying, remembering.
Backen’s sound, lightworks, projections and computer generated systems are inclusive to audiences inviting their presence in the work and effecting the possible outcomes. Her installations actively engage with the spaces in which they inhabit - whether gallery, landscape or building: the site provides the structural and associative framework for both formal and conceptual elements. Backen has a poetic approach which includes topics such as randomness and pattern, body and language, boarders and connections, distance and proximity. Backen investigates patterns of language and rhythms of nature to build works which engage with physical space.
Robyn Backen has shown in many national and international exhibitions including Australian Perspecta 1991 and 1997; Spirit and Place Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney 1996; Flow National Gallery Kuala Lumpur 2000; Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan 2003; Imagining Prometheus, Milan, Italy 2003; Whispering Trees De Overkant, Den Haag Sculpur, Holland 2007; Connecting You, Canberra Contemporary Art Space 2010; Exposure, Rejmyre, Sweden 2011; Sookmyung Women’s University Gallery, South Korea 2011; and Daya/Kindness: Australia-India a cultural exchange, Habitat Centre, New Delhi 2012.
Backen has completed many large public commissioned artworks such as Weeping Walls, Sydney International Airport 2001; Delicate Balance at Ballast Point Park for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority 2009 and Walls that Whisper Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra 2009. She is one of the four commissioned artists developing a site-specific artwork for Siteworks - an ongoing series of interactive projects focusing on the unique Bundanon properties. The third phase of the project Last Word 2012 will be performed in September 2012, along the rivers edge.
View Robyn Backen CV