In 2010, the advice of friend and mentor Chris Ofili prompted a challenge to Robi Walters: “draw every day”. Of course, for an aspiring artist wanting to execute big pieces of art, the idea of creating one-off and isolated drawings once a day is not a familiar or perhaps even comfortable practice. Yet, although starting in not a very serious or focused fashion, the artist did as he was instructed. The 365 London Art Project was born.
Painting every day, just before going to bed, became ingrained in the artist’s daily routine. The unrestricted approach encouraged a new a refreshing approach to creation; sometimes the works were minimal, sometimes messy. It becomes a healthy system of creativity. Robi would keep the work even if he did not like it, he would not change it because it would capture the mood of that day.
When the project developed into full swing, the artist would consider how he could make the project more interesting? The works began to include things done in that day. Additionally, a date, a number, and signature would be included.
Rather than simply drawing or painting on paper, the daily works would be rendered on found objects or things Robi had been given. Envelopes, books, cardboard boxes, and found frames transformed themselves into a canvas. This approach not only creates aesthetically exciting objects but also works with their own social history and placing within the project, almost like a time capsule.
Written by Hannah Clynch