Aminah Robinson (1940-2015) was a lifelong Columbus, Ohio resident, a signifiant influence to her profession and her community, and a renowned artist. Robinson’s art received national recognition through exhibits at institutions across the country and the MacArthur Fellows Grant in 2004, for her “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”
Her work was not limited to creations that could be hung on walls or stood on pedestals. Aminah Robinson created art out of fabric and fibers, paper, and on all of the surfaces of her home utilizing paint, found objects like buttons and shells, as well as her signature “hogmawg.” If you’re not familiar with Aminah Robinson’s work you may never have heard of hogmawg, which is a mixture of mud, glue, twigs, leaves, animal grease, lime, and clay that her father taught her to make as a child. She used hogmawg in her paintings and sculpture pieces to give them dimensionality and expression, and it is unlike almost any material I personally have dealt with before.
Blind Eye Restoration was hired by the Columbus Museum of Art to restore the mixed media mosaic floor in Aminah Robinson’s home which Aminah had bequethed to them in her estate. The museum had originally determined that the mosaic floor Aminah had created in her kitchen had become unsafe for daily use in the house, which was to become the Aminah Robinson Residency for Black artists. The tile was then carefully photographed, removed, and boxed in order to protect what was left of it. Once hired, the Blind Eye Restoration team began cleaning all the original tiles, removing old mortar and dirt. We were able to then utilize the museum's photographs from the original floor design and and relay the tile to match Aminah's original design.
Unlike a traditional tile floor, Aminah’s floor design utilized all sorts of mixed tiles, teeth, buttons, beads and other mixed media items she had at her disposal. She incorporated those items into her mosaic floor through the use of her hogmawg mixture.
Although a really interesting media, the hogmawg is not a durable flooring material. So we created a way of representing it through another media - tinted epoxy. It was important for the relayed floor mosaics to both accurately reflect Aminah’s original work, but to be laid in a manner that would withstand the new uses for the artist’s residence.
The Bind Eye Restoration team was honored to help preserve Aminah Robinson’s legacy for the benefit of contemporary artists.
To learn more about the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Legacy Project (ABLR Legacy Project) visit this link.