Eyes are considered a representation of one’s soul. Yet in the Georgian era, they became something more: a way for lovers to communicate with each other through a secret code, and for women to remember their deceased husbands.
In a time when it was considered scandalous for a woman to have an affair with a man who wasn’t her husband, many women would wear broaches decorated with tiny renderings of eyes without having to reveal their identity.
People commissioned artists to paint the eyes of a loved one, usually a spouse or child, onto objects they could carry with them as mementos. These small paintings gave people something concrete in an era without photography: proof that their loved ones were still watching over them from afar.
Robyn Rich is an artist who has been a chronic illness inspiration through her incredible artwork.
She uses her art to connect with the world in many different ways, giving her a voice and presence far beyond anything she had ever hoped for. She also believes that her own experience with chronic illness gave her a deeper understanding of what others may be facing, giving her the ability to sometimes see deep within the subjects she paints.
Her paintings are inspired by the history of Georgian eye miniatures—Lover’s Eyes—a Victorian practice of holding small portraits in glass cases. She uses objects that would otherwise be discarded or forgotten about as her canvases for these pieces.
Rich is driven by her passion to minimise her environmental footprint and her love of recycling; she believes that art should be accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it. By using discarded items as her canvas, she makes art accessible to everyone while also reducing waste in our world!
Robyn Rich’s work is incredible, and it’s no surprise that she has been honored at several exhibitions. Her passion for creating unique pieces from forgotten objects is truly inspiring, and her ideas are a breath of fresh air in the world of art.
© All images via Robyn Rich instagram
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