Pictura Gallery

Robin Bell | One Pool, Los Angeles

August 15, 2023

Forest Below

I love Robin Bell’s project, One Pool, Los Angeles for the vaporous beauty of the images. I also find the project useful as an inspiration, for what can be discovered in one small space with sustained attention over time. Attention, that elusive currency of our days, which we are so often encouraged to put up for sale, is here freely spent.

When we talk about time wasted’ and time well spent,’ we bring expectations of measurable productivity into those phrases. Bell, finding herself alone, and with time on her hands, rebels against this way of thinking by repeatedly choosing to zone out at an empty pool. Really, she’s zoning in. And ironically, it’s quite fruitful.

Bell turns up unconventional findings in the pool’s reflections. She reveals a subterranean shadow life — a mysterious meeting ground for plant life and melting geometric forms, where the creeping fingers of leafy shadows reach out towards orderly rectangles.

7 Alcove
3 White Wall
4 Turquoise Wall

The pool is not pristine. But clumps of dirt add to the feeling of secrecy, a reminder that one might be safely unbothered in this cove. And the little bits of algae clinging to the grout, they serve to enrich and unite the colorscape.

One Pool
displays the dynamic range of the color aqua, and it dips into the surprising variety of emotions that color can convey… the bright and shallow promise of Los Angeles, the murky dark depth of isolation, and the tranquility in-between, found somewhere in the midtones.

-Lisa Woodward

2 Float
6 Green Wall

See more of Robin Bell's work here