Over time, Robinson developed a bespoke vocabulary for her initiatives. One central idea in her work was “RagGonNon,” the generally monumental mixed-media items that will “rag on and on” over time, as she encrusted them with beads, thread and even, say, shells, to speak an abiding religious connection to Black historical past and identification.
Her “Water Street (The Legend of Chipo Village)” RagGonNon, a 60-foot-long piece that was proven on the Akron Artwork Museum in 2011, took practically 25 years to finish. It depicts African-Individuals going about their on a regular basis lives on Water Avenue, a avenue in downtown Columbus that she realized about from an uncle. When that avenue later grew to become Marconi Boulevard, Robinson needed to seize the importance of the lives lived there that had been paved over.
The piece takes on a mystical high quality, beginning with a panel that, in stitched lettering, reads “Within the Starting” earlier than the attention is directed to an embroidered map meant to characterize the neighborhood’s connections to its ancestral previous. Robinson layered cloth, snakeskin and 1000’s of buttons to make the our bodies of the figures she depicted appear to stand up out of the piece.
“She says she was grounded within the African idea of sankofa,” Carole Genshaft, curator at massive of the Columbus Museum of Artwork, mentioned in a cellphone interview. Sankofa, a phrase within the Akan language of Ghana, roughly means “Return and get it.”
“I believe that accounts for a lot of her ardour to do items that included Africa,” Genshaft mentioned, “earlier than enslavement, the center passage, enslavement, emancipation and migration.”
In Shepard, her Columbus neighborhood, Robinson was a beloved, if considerably eccentric, determine, although her prolific portfolio took her to galleries and museums throughout the nation and world wide. In a 2006 review of a show at the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Occasions artwork critic Grace Glueck described the exhibit “Symphonic Poem: The Artwork of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson” as nearly overflowing its galleries.
“The practically 100 items,” Glueck wrote, “embody scroll-like books unrolling for greater than 40 ft and a cluster of totemic sculptures with built-in music bins starting from 8 to 10 ft excessive.”