Simon Robinson is an Irish photographer and writer based in Dublin.
Two outlets for Simon’s skill in photography and graphic design are his Chapbooks and textile printing in the form of luxurious scarves. In terms of writing, Simon has been making extensive additions to his blog – walkingcommentary.net
More about Simon and his work
In Simon’s words…
“I’m Irish, based in Dublin and learned to love photography as a child. My father told me that cameras let you save eight milliseconds for eternity. He advised me to be parsimonious and scrupulous with film. Barely into my teens, it took me a long time to fully understand the big words but his enthusiasm infected me. Some say that the digital challenge is knowing what’s worth keeping but I also let serendipity happen. I use 35 mm SLR cameras rather for my high-end photography and phones for social media. I borrowed a Fuji mirrorless camera for a month a few years ago and it transformed my world such that I bought an X-T3. Small and unobtrusive, the X series is a more portable yet fully professional range.
I craft my pictures to differentiate significance from sense. I extract significant patterns from comprehensible scenes. I use extrinsic elements to complete a design. I’ll abstract something like leaves and branches into a flat pattern. I’ll use negative space or overexposure to isolate subjects. Or I’ll use an inverted tone curve to disguise a cityscape or a fireworks display. I might use extreme focal lengths to juxtapose elements in unusual combinations. Close inspection will reveal the truth.
I restrict image manipulations to darkroom effects without resorting to Photoshop.
Long distance trekking and photography are two complementary passions that keep me outdoors. The mirrorless camera dangles from my wrist everywhere I go, ready to be lucky with the shot you can’t anticipate. The tripod only comes out these days for long planned things like a moonrise or low angled sun shots.
Printing on fabric is a new adventure for me. My focus on scarves started with a triptych commission when I realised that I liked long and thin aspect ratios and could do something different with them. Neck warmers are a part of a trekker’s life in these parts and scarves a regular accessory. And I knew about digital printing on textiles. So scarves seemed like a good idea. The next step was to learn about fabrics. And I was determined to use sustainable materials.
My first scarf specific picture was a panorama of London taken from Havering while walking the London Loop in 2019. I was taken aback by the scarf’s appeal to almost everyone who saw it. So I made a few more, experimenting with colour and fabric. Mulmul, the wonder gossamer of Indian royalty was so light as to be called woven wind. And it takes the colour very well. As does the Tencel TM Silk mix which is even more sustainable.
My hope is that people who wear scarves will see the images as patterns that are at once interesting and perhaps a little whimsical. I hope they are valued for warmth and style and also for the exclusivity that comes from being in very limited editions of 39 maximum for any particular scarf; and the knowledge that these are quality products made locally in the British Isles from sustainable fabrics using ethical employment and production practices.
And on behalf of all buyers, I pledge to donate 10% of every scarf sale to research into defeating the chronic pain that often persists after surgery. And if we can’t find a suitable charity that supports such research, I’ll donate the money to cancer research.“
Simon’s work at Artist Network Dunlaoghaire-Rathdown
One of Simon’s pieces (photograph on textile) called “Recycle” is on show at Artist Network Dunlaoghaire-Rathdown. See the online gallery here – artnetdlr.ie/revival/
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