Ella Robinson was born in Brighton (UK) in 1984, and her passion for art was first realised during experimental A-Level lessons, where numerous found materials were used to create works: ring pulls from drinks cans, large pieces of wood found in skips, scraps of materials and ribbon. She found it more exciting to work three-dimensionally with found materials, discovering their unique properties, rather than to paint or draw.
Robinson studied Multi Media Textiles at Loughborough University, where the same principles of re-use and the embracing of the everyday were encouraged. Here too began her love of marrying vibrant colours to striped imagery.
After graduation Robinson was selected by Texprint as one of the best 24 graduating textile designers in the UK, going on to exhibit in Paris and Hong Kong, and was awarded the Texprint “Colour Prize”. As a result of this, she then spent three months in Como, Italy, undertaking an internship in Product Finishing at Ratti, an international luxury textiles company.
From 2007 to 2009 she undertook a Master’s Degree at the Royal College of Art, London, where she studied Mixed Media Textiles. Her summer show featured the more concluded and larger-scale results of one year’s experimentation with both bought and drift wood, used in conjunction with purchased materials such as rayon thread, stranded cotton, and plastic tubing, to create vibrant and striped decorative objects and sculptural pieces.
Since graduating, Robinson has continued to combine found wood with more traditional textile media. She has also launched “Driftwood Accessories”, a range of necklaces and brooches made from embroidered and wrapped wood fragments. These were previewed at The Knit and Stitch Shows (2009) in both London and Harrogate after Robinson was selected to exhibit within their Graduate Showcase.
Most recently Robinson undertook a fun workshop focusing on making Festive Decorations at The Scarlet Centre, part of Eaves Housing in London (during December 2011). As stated on their website "Eaves is a London-based charity that provides high quality housing and support to vulnerable women". She hopes to be running another workshop there during April this year.
Robinson was "Wild Wednesday's" guest artist at the Dearne Valley's Old Moor RSPB reserve during August 2011 and during November 2011 she ran two day-workshops with year 5 pupils from Winnersh Primary School, Wokingham. During both workshops the children experimented with three-dimensional structures alongside found materials and colour.
During April and May 2011 Robinson undertook a series of workshops with the Transition Group from Oaklands College and some members of the Referral Group, in association with St Albans Arts Sports and Health Development Team (SAASH). This involved collecting and embellishing found objects that formed part of the "Green Art" Sculpture Trail surrounding St Albans.
She took part in the Creative Catalyst programme, run in collaboration with the Crafts Council and Creativity, Culture and Education in January 2011. Robinson undertook 5 days of workshops with Reception and year 5 pupils from Montgomery Primary School, Birmingham where they explored colours, pattern and wrapping found objects.
During Revival 2010, a contemporary craft programme run in collaboration between the Crafts Council and ReachOut RCA, she was Lead Artist for Textiles, undertaking classroom-based workshops with year 10 pupils from Cumberland School, East London. Robinson also ran a Showzine workshop in collaboration with ReachOut RCA during July 2011, with year 10 pupils from the Charles Edward Brooke School in Camberwell.
Robinson's most important exhibitions to date have been Talking Textiles at Ventura Lambrate, Milan (during Salone del Mobile) Origin and 6 Hands at The Aram Gallery both in London, during 2011.
Between May - October she displayed her largest piece to date, Death by Jumbrella, within the idyllic grounds of the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire for their Art in the Garden exhibition. From this, Robinson received a commission to make three 9ft poles for a private residence in Kent.
Robinson has work in private collections, has undertaken private commissions and had work purchased by the Crafts Council in 2010.
Whilst studying at the Royal College, Robinson came third in the Man Group Drawing Prize (2009) with examples of her embroidered driftwood pieces, was awarded The Worshipful Company of Dyers’ Travel Bursary (2008) (where she travelled to New York), and had her first solo show, Stripetastic, at The Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery.
Last updated January 2012