Background Image

About Robin Tinney


Growing up in the rural area around Bancroft, we rarely discussed being Algonquin, or what being "Algonquin" meant, with anyone outside of our immediate family.  I learned to love and respect the land, but there was nothing else to provide guidance or context about being "Algonquin".  It is still difficult to find references to our tribe, especially any physical references such as artifacts.  The evidence of Algonquin history in Ontario has mostly been stolen or purposefully erased; the little that remains has been carefully hidden and is just now coming to light.
Art has allowed me to explore what it means to be "Algonquin" as a "Non-Status Indian" now living in Canada's largest city.  My stone carvings are an attempt to recapture the roots of our past, the very bedrock of our history.  The time required, and the intimacy of hand tools helps me achieve a very personal context in my work. I want people to wonder about where this particular vision came from, and to be amazed at the effort and commitment required to create it.
The style of my work varies greatly.  There is often a "merging" theme, blending the real and the spiritual worlds.  This theme of change or metamorphosis, common in primitive art, is representative of the changes in me, my people, and society at large.
I want to grow as an artist and explore new materials, styles and ideas.  Combining modern production methods with ancient textures, materials and iconography can produce astounding results.  I want to help create designs that show pride in our past and hope for our future.  My goal is to produce artwork that will feel both familiar and wondrous at the same time.