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Show RCA 2019

Rob Branigan

Show RCA work

Major project:

C. x Limon

The botanical illustration, like any form of of diagram, is a vessel of information that – through catagorising and labelling – creates a structure of power and knowledge. It is, however, only concerned with qualities, data, lineage, appearance and statistics – not with the 'being-ness' of an object. The sculpture is a representation of this representation, not of a lemon tree itself, to explore not just how we see the lemon but how it exists in our lives, as an ornament, a garnish, an acidic, a tart seduction, an object as much as a fruit or a form of sustenance, the very lemon-ness of a lemon. To look at it against the framework of the institution, as something that has utilised it in a diagrammatic form to classify it and strip it from its origins.


  • Rob Branigan (b.1992) is an artist living and working in London. He completed his BFA at The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University in 2013 and his MFA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2019.

    The idea of the vessel, as an object that holds or contains, provides or transports, is ever-present in our lives. We could attribute it to our survival, our advancement as a species, and it remains one of the most visible cultural objects to us, in counterpart to the tool, from prehistoric shells, to neolithic pots, scientific illustrations, shopping baskets, infograms and cloud storage.

    In his practice, Rob utilises the motif of the vessel, the support structure, within his work as a means of providing a receptacle for the viewer, to engage them to discuss ideas surrounding the objects they find themselves looking at, whether holding matter or information, exploring passages of time, inclinations of memory, ideas of knowledge and power structures. 

    Currently, he is researching the history and taxonomy of citrus fruits, their spread, hybridisation and mutation over time, utilising the botanical illustration, and the problematic histories of the botanical institution’s involvement with imperialism and colonisation to frame his ideas. Material choice bears out of an inherent understanding of materials from the viewer, challenging material itself to undo expectation, but to utilise characteristics associated with material and its craft. He is recreating illustrations, as diagrams, in steel, presented to the viewer like a specimen.

  • Previous degrees

  • BFA Fine Art, Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, 2013
  • Exhibitions

  • Marketing Suite, Assembly Point, London, 2019 (Upcoming); Teaser, Darwin Galleries, Royal College of Art, London, 2019; Marketing Suite, Filet Space, London, 2019; The Ashtray Show, Belmacz, London, 2018; blocks & locks with Rosie Reed, 15 Fournier St, London, 2016
Royal College of Art