Robbie Rowlands interacts with existing objects and spaces in a practice that seeks to renegotiate the empirical by challenging the way we see the world. In his work we find the structures that provide support to our lives have themselves become wilted and prone. Rowlands throws the finitude of the subject into question by engaging the uncertainty of space and the ambiguity of time. The process of decline and decay becomes an aesthetic event, manipulating the disintegrating form as a means of fathoming new ones.
Recent examples of Rowlands’ ongoing series of works that resource pre-demolition houses, public buildings and utilitarian objects include Light falls, a reconfigured 20m stadium light pole, Townsville 2017; Crossing the floor, Broadmeadows Town Hall public art commission 2017/2018; Shadows fall, pre-demolition house, Belfield, Victoria, 2016; and Light through half drawn blind, pre-demolition house, Spotswood, Victoria, 2016. In 2014 he travelled to Detroit USA, funded by the Australia Council for the Arts and Popps Packing ARI Detroit. Through this residency he
developed a major series of studio and public works titled Tread lightly for this ground maybe hollow. In 2015 he was invited to carve up the floor of Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, with the work titled If this light can hold. In 2018, developing on from his acclaimed regional show In-betweena collaboration between Regional Arts Victoria and Charlton Arts that featured large scale sculpture, sound and projected works Rowlands will be investigating a site-specific project with the township of Broken Hill. He is currently undertaking a Master by research and teaches across sculpture and sound at RMIT University.
With what remains showcases Rowlands immersive site-specific practice within the abandoned Nuttelex engineering workshop, a 1950s crumbling brick house set at the side of the factory. Utilising remnant materials; pipes, oil and the physical structure of the site, this work is raw and visceral, representing mechanisms that support, house and in this case, produce the substances we consume. Rowlands is represented by Blackartprojects.