Robin Arseneault was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta. She received her BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design, Canada. She has worked as an instructor, curator, arts administrator, and as the Director of the Stride Gallery, Calgary. Arseneault is the recipient of several awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Alberta Heritage. She was also a 2007 semi-finalist for the Sobey Art Award.
She studied at the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland, where she received her MFA in 2005. It was here that she wrote and self-published a one act play, entitled Monsterdom. Arseneault has exhibited internationally, including Canada, the USA, Scotland, Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. Her most recent exhibition was in Florence, Italy where she had the gallery director and staff dress up in paper-constructed bird costumes to hand out prize ribbons to the attending audience.
Arseneault’s practice includes a diverse range of installation, drawing, sculpture, video and artist-books. Yet, common in all of her work are the performative and theatrical elements that revolve around the perception of failure. She is interested in the exchange of emotions that happen between audience and artwork when a failure or vulnerability is exposed.
The transaction that occurs is rich in opportunity: there is a transgression of boundaries; a possibility of the unknown, or unscripted happenstance; the unexpected movement from passive to active viewer; and the reversal of expected roles.
Arseneault tries to make this transaction comically evident through her choice of materials and manner of production.