“Exposed” Profile: Robin Hill

Robin Hill, Snowflake

Robin Hill

Robin Hill’s work is on view at the ICA in the exhibition Exposed: Today’s Photography/Yesterday’s Technology thru Sept 19, 2010.

Robin Hill’s Snowflake #1 is derived from a mathematical algorithm produced by Professor Janko Gravner of UC Davis, as part of his research on probability in crystal snowflake growth. This unique collaboration between a mathematician and an artist bridges natural and human sciences and has resulted in this huge and beautiful translation of mathematical data into a visual image.

Hill uses the 19th-century photographic technique of cyanotype (historically used for botanical studies), to create her ghostly blue and white images. The cyanotype records the quality of translucence and opacity in the material and also the distance the material is from the paper and any shadow it casts. The process is simple and involves two solutions, which are blended together in equal parts. The paper is coated with the solution and dried in the dark. The negative is then placed directly on the paper and exposed to the sun. After exposure, the print is processed by simply rinsing it in water. A white image emerges on a blue background.

Hill received her BA from Kansas City Art Institute and has had solo exhibitions at Don Soker Contemporary Art and the Davis Art Center. She has been included in group exhibitions throughout the United States and France, and received a Faculty Research Grant from UC Davis where she teaches. Hill divides her time between Woodland, CA and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.