Robyn Love

Robyn Love (b. 1965) is an artist who lives and works in Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay of Islands, Newfoundland), Canada. She received a BFA from Cooper Union in New York City in 1988. She has exhibited at galleries and museums internationally and has received numerous project grants to create new work from foundations and public agencies. 

Her site-specific projects include a New York City Percent for Art commission for the High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety in Jamaica, Queens, NY, a five km-long handmade installation in Cheongju, South Korea, and a large-scale, multimedia installation titled The House Museum in Ktaqmkuk. The House Museum explored cultural tourism and museology as instruments for building community and equity. In 2017 the space transitioned into BARDO-29, an experimental contemporary art space hosting residencies and annual public programs

She presented her performance piece, SpinCycle, at The Brooklyn Museum in New York City, Northern University in Abderdeen, South Dakota, the ICCA in Inverness, NS, and at the Hold Fast Festival in St. John’s in 2021.

In 2017, she launched an online, ongoing video series titled Small Things Brought Together, long format conversations exploring the creative process with artists from all disciplines. STBT is now in its fourth season.

Jinker, Installation and Performance

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English: a Jinker is the perception of women as “pollutants on the water,” jinxes, bad omens.

Jinker comes out of several of Robyn Love’s past projects elevating women’s voices and stories. The embroidered black fabric was originally created for a 2021 site-specific installation on a fish flake titled Unhistoric Acts, for the Bonavista Biennale. It explored women’s unacknowledged, historical role in the Newfoundland fishery – all the names embroidered on the dress come from the 1935 census on the Bonavista Peninsula.

Unhistoric Acts generated many stories and reactions from local people about the women who did the majority of labour, in the fishery, the household and community. These conversations expanded into an exploration of the present-day role of women in the fishery. Despite no longer being considered Jinkers, their contributions have rarely been recognized.

There is a profound absence of stories about women who continue to do the majority of the labour in the inshore fishery in Newfoundland. This is in contrast to the hundreds of books and thousands of publications about the role of men. It is a pattern seen across cultures and geography. Jinker disrupts this relentless reiteration of the patriarchal narrative that results in discounting and distrusting women’s experiences. The performances and installation work make visible and affirm these histories, giving them a new status. Do we dare to believe in a history that isn’t about war and money? Are the ritually repetitive process of making a life—cooking, cleaning, mending, mothering, and talking to each other – valuable, worthy of remembering and honouring? The Jinker says YES.

Performances and other events will be happening in fishing communities in Newfoundland throughout the summer of 2023 and in Iceland and Scotland in 2024.

Robyn Love, Jinker, 2021 - ongoing

Robyn Love, Jinker, 2021-ongoing, installation, performance, variable measurements

Selected Works

Exhibitions

Group Exhibition

Notations & Seams:

Stratums of Allegory

Bruce Pashak   |   Robyn Love   |   David Merkuratsuk

Bruce Pashak

Robyn Love

David Merkuratsuk

June 10 – July 23 2023