About Ms Robyn Backen

Robyn Backen's practice traverses sculpture, projections, sound and light works. Her art is largely concerned with technological change, communication systems, and the intersections between art, science and philosophy. Backen’s capacity to manipulate technology develops from a concern for both conceptual and material references. Her installations actively engage with the spaces they inhabit, whether gallery, landscape or building: the site provides the structural and associative framework for both formal and conceptual elements. Backen has a poetic approach which includes topics such as randomness and pattern, body and language, borders and connections, distance and proximity. She investigates patterns of language and rhythms of nature to build works which engage with physical space. Backen's teaching draws upon more than 20 years of research into technology and materials. She has examined the phenomena of change in society and created artworks that often engage with the languages of communication.

Robyn Backen has shown in many national and international exhibitions including Urban Detritus, Australian National Gallery, Canberra (1991), Australian Perspecta (1991 and 1997), Bi Focal - Spirit and Place: The Spirit in Australian Art 1880-1996, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1996), Flow, National Gallery Kuala Lumpur (2000), Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan (2003) and Imagining Prometheus, Palazzo dell Ragione, Milan, Italy (2003).Her public art works include the building that speaks, New Farm Powerhouse, Brisbane (2001), Weeping walls, at the Sydney International Airport (2000) and Archaeology of bathing, for the Sydney Sculpture Walk in the Botanical Gardens (1999).Her work is included in major public collections in Australia, including National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and Australia Museum, Sydney. Backen completed a work for the 50 year celebration of ABC television and a collaboration with a scientific researcher at the Garvan Institute, and recently completed two commissions: Delicate Balance at Ballast Point Park for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, and Walls that Whisper, a permanent installation for the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra.

Selected publications


Connecting You, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra, 2010

Mirror<>Mirror: Then and Now, Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide, Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2009-2010

Walls that Whisper, Museum of Australian Democracy, Canberra, 2009

It's me...I'm here...where're you, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, 2007

Yours, Mine, Ours: 50 years of ABC TV, Archive Project, Lewers bequest, 2006-2007

Vinculum, (with John Tonkin) Artspace, Sydney, 2005