Hand of Good, Hand of God - Freddie Robins

Hand of Good, Hand of God, Freddie Robins, 1997. Image © Heini Schneebeli

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Textiles: Machine-knitting, hand-sewing
Shetland Wool
L935mm x W520mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Hitchin, England
Place Trained
London, Royal College of Art, London, MA Textiles, 1987-1989; Middlesex Polytechnic, B.A. (Hons), 1984-1987
Senior Tutor in Textiles, Royal College of Art, London, England
Shortlist, Jerwood Applied Arts Prize: Textiles, 2002; Crafts Council Setting Up Grant, 1997
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Freddie Robin’s practice questions conformity and notions of normality, and blurs traditional distinctions between art, craft and design. For Robins, knitting is a powerful medium for exploring issues of the domestic realm, gender and the human condition because of the cultural preconceptions surrounding it.

Her works often explore the human form and have resulted in pieces such as Hand of Good, Hand of God, which questions physical normality, incorporating both humour and fear.

It is one of her earliest pieces, and also plays with mathematics and pattern writing: the large glove is a multiplication of the number of stitches and rows in a regular knitted glove, while the smaller glove is a division.

The piece was a perfect fit for the Crafts Council’s 2008-2009 touring exhibition Deviants, which showcased 16 pieces from the Crafts Council’s Collection that deviate wildly from what is considered traditional craft.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Deirdre Figueiredo MBE

“Her choice of medium on first encounter seems safe and cosily domestic but passive and benign it is not! One thing’s for sure, Robins’ work will always elicit a reaction because it intentionally subverts, unsettles expectations and disrupts boundaries. Like Robins herself, it takes a stand, refusing to be neatly categorised and could sit just as easily in the collections of a museum of modern art or the Welcome Collection. I’ve chosen this work because of its enduring attitude, interrogating and confronting our prejudices about what is ‘normal’ and ‘beautiful’, renewing my conviction that diversity and difference are drivers to re-thinking the world.”

Deirdre Figueiredo MBE

Deirdre Figueiredo MBE, curator. Director, Craftspace. Crafts Council Acquisition Advisor, 2011.


From the Archive

Extract from catalogue for the 2002 Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts: Textiles, for which Robins was shortlisted. © Crafts Council

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