Canadian artist, Robin Hodgson (b.1984) lives in Kamloops, BC, where he currently works from his downtown studio. Robin’s art practice includes his work in painting and sculpture, as well as his efforts in promoting the development of the emerging art scene in his community.
As the result of a motor vehicle accident Robin has been a C5/C6 quadriplegic since the age of 19. Prior to his injury he was an accomplished snowboarder and a member of Canada’s junior national team. As each spinal cord injury is unique to the individual, Robin’s injury presents him with partial movement in his arms. Although he has no finger movement or tricep function, his biceps and limited wrist flexion allow him enough mobility to continue drawing and painting with the assistance of the adaptive tools he’s created.
Hodgson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC (2013). Here He focused his studies in painting and the development of adaptive tools to aid him in his practice. The style and conceptual process Robin works in is attributed to the various tools and mark making devices he’s crafted to help him overcome his mobility restrictions. Since 2018 Robin has annually met the professional artist requirements outlined by Canada Council and is dedicated to expanding his practice and education. In 2019 Robin received the Kamloops Mayor’s Award for the Arts, as Emerging Artist of the Year.
Robin’s work advocates for those living with disabilities. Thematically his work explores a variety of issues related to the psychological and emotional nature of post able body life. Through the development of new painting processes and a quartet of adaptive tools, Robin is able to work on large canvases as a way to transcend his disability. In his latest body of work, exhibited at the Penticton Art Gallery, “Drawing From The Margins,” (March 27- May 15 2021) Robin rented a power wheelchair equipped with an elevation lift to assist him in painting his series of (5×5) foot canvases. Currently he has been experimenting with a painting process that uses a ceiling lift, typically intended to assist individuals with mobility restrictions in and out of the shower. The lift is mounted to a track along the ceiling of his studio, allowing him to be hoisted from his wheelchair to reach heights and canvas sizes he otherwise wouldn’t be able to access. Hodgson’s continued experimentation aims to develop a painting style unique to his disability, while expanding on the already existing history of notable artists within the disabled community.
Robin’s community interests have led him to sit on the board of directors for Arnica Artist Run Center, and the co-creation of two non for profit studio and exhibition spaces in downtown Kamloops, Padlock studios (2014-2017) and REpublic Gallery (2018-present). These gathering spaces provide studios and exhibition opportunities for emerging artists in the community in addition to hosting various arts related community events.