Robin Eckardt: An Iconic Artist
The epic-scale and daring use of media has made Robin Eckardt one of Wyecliffe’s most influential and immediately recognisable talents. On a mild day in February, our intrepid Wyecliffe photographer Lucy set out to Buckinghamshire to record this enigmatic artist at her own studio. The results are enlightening and offer an insight into the creative process behind the iconic large-scale luxury panels gracing homes, hotels, casinos and yachts around the Globe.
The first thing that struck Lucy was the scale and almost utilitarian floor-space of the studio: a former warehouse that has been Eckardt’s base of operations for the last 3-years. Her reasons for selecting this location are immediately obvious – scale. Her celebrated canvases can reach spectacular proportions: in some works over 240cm wide, literally the size of a wall, utilising up to 7-litres of resin. As an artist who enjoys a challenge, she has always worked at a large scale (“The bigger the better!”), particularly impressive for such a petit figure. Indeed, the physicality she demonstrates, dashing around a canvas panel several times larger than herself is a fantastically energetic process and the size of the studio floor – now covered with patina of pigments, resin and varnishes – accommodates this intensely visceral production.
The other reason for the Eckardt’s preference of the large, industrial studio space is the ease of ventilation and application of a special spray – dust free air and correct temperature is a must for the application of Eckardt’s signature medium… If there’s one material that Robin is renowned for pushing the boundaries of – its resin.
Resin is increasingly popular as a method of glazing and sealing artworks because of its adaptable nature and ability to achieve high-gloss full transparency. However, as an early adopter, Robin became fascinated by the medium’s potential to achieve varying levels of opacity and – when treated in different ways – exciting finishes of varying texture. Resin became a medium in its own right for Robin, her initial experimental works and years of ‘trial and error’ practice has gained her a mastery of the media as expressive and versatile as that of paint (“I understand resin’s reactions with pieces”). A particularly exciting development was the realisation that a material as protean as resin could be mixed with paints, metals and other substances to yield a dizzying array of looks – reaching its ultimate conclusion with the application of luminescent pigments for glow in the dark works.
Innovation in Art
The success of innovation has inspired Robin to constantly experiment with new products and mediums: the latest being a new mirror effect as seen in her latest ‘forest canopy’ works. A new evolution of a subject matter dear to the artists heart…
When out of the studio, Robin gains inspiration walking the forests of her local Chiltern hills. It’s a hobby that’s reflected in her premier subject – the mysterious, tangled networks of tree branch silhouettes that run like jet-black seams through her canvases. Sometimes they are covered in a multitude of cherry blossoms, at other times accompanied by sparse flashes of golden autumn leaves: at others, eerie will-o-wisps.
This passion for exploration also manifests itself in her other trademark genres: her bracing, powerfully kinetic sailing works and her classic cityscapes. Of course, one subject that she is universally sought-after is the pure abstract. Installed into some of the world’s most exciting properties, Robin’s abstract works are beautiful pieces of interior decoration.
Wyecliffe works alongside developers, architects and interior-designers to commission works from this exclusive artist, integrated into the very design of the spaces (what we call ‘art from the ground up’).
A true artist with a hugely influential style, we can only be grateful that Robin is so firmly established in a studio space that caters for the scope and energy of her artistic vision. We’re looking forward to what the future holds for an artist that never, ever slows down!