We are thrilled to present 'REIMAGINED BY THE MUSE', a captivating exhibition that brings together the works of two remarkable artists, Charlotte Robertson and Yvonne Abercrombie. Despite having never met, these artists share a language, creating a harmonious and thought-provoking display of their individual yet intertwined artistic visions.

A Tale of Two Artists

Charlotte Robertson and Yvonne Abercrombie are united by their deep love for the visible world and their exploration of the secrets that lie within. Their paintings, while rooted in the traditions of historical painting, transcend the ordinary to offer solace and introspection through portraiture. Each piece is an observation of nature and the human condition, filtered through the artists' unique perspectives and inner worlds.

Charlotte Robertson: Guided by the Muse

In Robertson’s own words, "with REIMAGINED BY THE MUSE, I have opened myself to the unseen realms as a means to harness collective themes and render them with hope and joy." For Robertson, the muse is not a passive or fleeting entity but an all-seeing, God-like being commanding her will. By abdicating control to this powerful force, she infuses her paintings with light, hope and a sense of divine purpose. Influenced by her early life experiences with quilting, needle crafts and ancient art, her work has a folk art feel, creating pieces that not only captivate but also protect those who look upon them.

Yvonne Abercrombie: Domestic Fantasies

Abercrombie's work is characterized by a playful, almost "edible" quality, reminiscent of a smothered piece of toast or coloured popcorn - childishly titillating visual stimuli.

Her paintings combine historical references with a contemporary twist, using illogical yet curious colour combinations and arbitrary compositions. This "contemporary kick" situates her practice within current discussions of the figure or muse in art, depicting domesticity and fantasy, offering a glossy enchantment that is both powerfully seductive and deeply engaging.

Q&A With the Artists

To offer deeper insights into their work and collaboration, we had a Q&A with Charlotte and Yvonne.

What Inspired You to Pursue Art as a Career?

CR: I always enjoyed art and art making and as a child dreamed of being an artist ‘when I grow up’. My earlier career led me in a different direction, away from art making due to necessity.

When my kids were young the intensity of parenting brought out a strong impulse in me to start painting again. I needed something that was just for me and a means to express this impulse. All of those old feelings of creative flow that had lain dormant resurfaced strongly.

I eventually developed a body of work and shared it online which led to a cafe exhibition and it grew from there.

YA: I have always painted, my mum encouraged me to do art at a very young age. I left high school with a scholarship to continue art at tertiary, however I chose other paths such as travel.

I went back to study art at a later age, thinking it would be a good opportunity to change my career, I assumed my only avenue would be teaching art at school. However, I gained a greater passion and purpose of painting in my undergraduate degree, I decided to continue on to do my masters which solidified my practice and intention of painting. It was exiting my master’s degree when I felt confident to call myself an ‘artist’, I haven’t put down my paintbrush since.

How Do You Think Your Work Complements the Other's in This Exhibition?

CR: When I look at Yvonne's work I see these magical universes that she creates around central figures/characters. I believe she performs alchemy in her work, transmuting lead to gold and water to wine. Our work complements the other with shared themes and figures interacting with nature and animals and this commonality of reimagining reality and using our personal mythology as material.

YA: What I see in Charlotte’s work is an underlining element to my practice, is naivety. There is a movement called ‘naïve art’, akin to folk art, where the artist paints the simplicity of what they enjoy, see or what is their inner world. It is not necessarily accurate to the trained eye, but it is what makes the work unique. Stories are played out in uncanny ways, unlike the renaissance where the viewer understands the narrative put before them.

What Do You Hope Viewers Take Away From 'REIMAGINED BY THE MUSE?'

CR: I would hope for the viewers’ curiosity about the hidden realms and deeper truths of life to be piqued, that they can see the Little People weave their magic underneath the level of day to day awareness, or a goddess wrap her arms around us, or to feel inspired to dance and revel under the night sky.

Maybe a sense of familiarity or remembrance is evoked, and the viewer is drawn into our created worlds for a time. I would love for the viewer to feel uplifted and hopeful in the presence of these works and to be entranced by the mystery of life.

YA: I have absolutely enjoyed getting to know Charlotte over this time, and to hear more about her practice which is one I admire. Having an understanding of both artist’s work, the viewer should experience the exhibition as an open book, immerse in stories untold, feel liberated from their external world, and be captivated and ‘muse’ over fantastical realm of colourful, textural and playful tales.

'REIMAGINED BY THE MUSE' is more than just an exhibition; it is a celebration of the singular and the intimate, expanding into a festivity of subjects in invented realities.

We invite you to join us in experiencing this unique exhibition, where the confluence of Charlotte and Yvonne’s artistry reveals the multifaceted nature of being. Their works, though created in isolation from each other, come together to form a cohesive and compelling narrative that speaks to the universality of the human experience.

June 13, 2024