Nette Robinson is a chess player, professional jazz singer and artist. Modernist movements such as Constructivism, Futurism and De Stijl have been hugely influential throughout her artistic development. She has exhibited her Purling chess artworks at Christie’s London and the World Chess Hall of Fame, USA.
Robinson is drawn to works with clean lines, geometric shapes and strong tonal and colour contrasts. This is evident in many of her works, including her unique paintings depicting famous master chess games that were exhibited at her solo show 2014 in Mayfair. She studied Fine Art with Music at Chichester, graduating in 2002.
One of Nette’s chess sets is inspired by Russian architecture. This set has also been recreated in virtual reality for Ripstone’s computer game called “Chess Ultra”. See the fabulous image below for some actual game footage.
“Russia, and in particular, Russian architecture, provided the inspiration for my second set. Arguably, the most iconic building in Russia is the beautiful and fantastical St Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow. This wonderful and colourful building represents the Black pieces. The White pieces for my chess set are based on another stunning piece of architecture to be found in Moscow, the exquisite white and gold-domed cathedral, Christ the Saviour.“
“When I was invited to create a chess set for this exhibition, I decided to paint one with a message. I settled on the subject of the oceans, which is particularly topical now. There are so many damning reports and assessments appearing about the damage caused by such things as plastic pollution, climate change and rising sea temperatures, resulting in the decimation of marine life and the bleaching of corals. The white pieces represent these fading corals and the opposing pieces are painted to represent the seas, contaminated with fragments of plastic. The alternating light and dark squares of my chess board show both clear seas and the darker polluted waters.
However, I also wanted my chess set to look beautiful, (as well as to be playable.) These issues of pollution and climate change are terrible and more than concerning, but on this planet and in nature there is great beauty. Therefore, my chess set shows both the “spoiling” factors, such as plastic debris and the wonderful “spoils“- the jewel-like corals, (which despite the bleaching, are still exquisite,) as beautiful.
It is serendipitous that the word “spoil” contains another pollutant that has wrought havoc on the seas, beaches and sea life, and which I have illustrated on many of the dark squares, and that is oil.”
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