The Perfect

34 x 1 x 1/2 (detail), 2003-2006: Freddie Robins
Photo: Ben Coode-Adams

Freddie Robins
14 June - 7 July 2007

Framed and unframed small-scale mixed media models.

Installation of knitted human bodies (to be re-arranged several times during the course of the exhibition).

Support material to provide background and context of work: sketchbooks, drawings and photographs.

The Perfect

"It's not perfect, but who cares?" Well I do. I enjoy imperfection in you and yours but not in me and mine. I am very attracted to the imperfections, failings, and roughness of the material world. I enjoy the evidence of human hands, the inevitable wear and repair of objects. I love the obviously hand-made. But I suffer from being a perfectionist.
This new body of work deals with the constant drive for perfection. It is made using technology that was developed to achieve perfection. Technology developed for mass production to make garment multiples that are exactly the same as each other; garments that do not require any hand finishing, garments whose manufacture does not produce any waste, garments whose production does not require the human touch. Garments that are, in fact, perfect.
I have produced my knitted multiples through the use of a Shima Seiki WholeGarment(r) machine (a computerised, automated, industrial V-bed flat machine, which is capable of knitting a three-dimensional seamless garment). These multiples take the form of life size, three-dimensional human bodies. I have combined them in a variety of different ways to create large-scale knitted sculptures and installations.
The titles for these new works take the form of mathematical equations. The titles give my formula for the arrangement of the multiples. This embracing of numbers and mathematics relates to my love of numbers. As a child I was a good mathematician. I loved the way that numbers gave you certainties. The answer was right or wrong, perfect or imperfect.
Perfectionism is associated with good craftsmanship, something
to aspire to. I aim for perfection in all aspects of my life, my work and myself. It can be very debilitating and exhausting and it is of course, unachievable.
Freddie Robins, 2007


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