Robyn Moore has been “following little breadcrumbs” for all of her artistic career, even leading her to Australia and back as she discovered herself.
“Biological objects” have been the subject of Moore’s art for years, but it has taken her time to reach the place she is now. Through a pure gut instinct and self-driven path, her life has been about what needed to happen practically and philosophically.
“It’s never been ‘I’m an artist, this is what I need to do.’ I’ve always been just feeling my way in terms of ‘This is what I like right now, and this is the path I want to take right now, said Moore, an Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Art at MSU. “I've never had and I still don’t have a ‘This is what I want to be’ type of feeling.”
Moore was exposed to photography early in her life by her father who was constantly taking photos of the family.
However, she didn’t receive her first camera untill she was 12.
Her relationship with photography was off and on throughout high school and her undergraduate career. It wasn’t until her senior year that she started to envision photography as an integral part of her life.
As she perused her Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in photography, she hit another rough patch with her work.
“I went through a period of like 'I don’t know if I belong here,'” said Moore. “My work looks really different from everybody else’s. I feel like my work is informed by things nobody is really talking about.”
Moore’s work has always shown a strong interest towards the biological and philosophical idea of life and the bodies that display it such as rocks, fruit, beetles and animal specimens.
After receiving her MFA, she turned to teaching as a practical way to fund her life, but also for the enrichment she got from interacting with different people and cultures.
Again, Moore struggled with her photographic work.
“I believe that my strength as an art educator comes from my own experience as a working artist,” said Moore. “There have been a couple key times in my life where my work as an art educator began to feel hollow to me; I soon discovered that this was due to the fact that I was not engaged in my own creative practice and intellectual development enough.”
It was at this point that her gut and luck led her to the University of Sydney as a recipient of the Commonwealth of Australia’s International Postgraduate Research Scholarship.
As Moore pursued her PhD, she received full access to the Haswell Museum where she could further invest herself in photography of biological objects fossils and specimen.
Throughout her time there she honed in on her craft from subject matter to photographic process as well as on herself as an individual.
“The process of creating this work revealed to me what was possible with my own mind and hinted at what I might be capable of in the future,” said Moore. “Before my doctorate I never really knew what I might be capable of.”
Moore continues to pursue her work and grow as an artist. However, her gut continues to be her guide.
“If I can imagine my life from here until I die, then I really need to change something,” said Moore. “I want to live the life that I couldn't imagine...that perhaps I didn't even think was possible. The ongoing hope for a rich, exciting, loving, creative life filled with revelation is what I continue to hold onto.”