Aurora Robson Uses Plastic Debris as Art Material

Aurora Robson’s art is proof that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Quite literally. This multi-media artist is recognized for her unique sculptures and installations, made entirely of plastic.

Exploring plastic debris as a viable art material, the finished result is a visual hybrid between semi-abstract childhood nightmares and forms found in nature.

“Art and garbage are polar opposites, yet they are the two things we leave behind on earth,” she reflected in an interview with Mistake House. “Once transformed into art, debris becomes the antithesis of itself.”

According to Robson, while we think of plastic as disposable—it’s precisely the opposite. Through her practice, she extracts plastic from its problematic destructive fate and utilizes its potential to become a source for enjoyable reflection. This process, of rescuing, de-contextualizing, and romancing, is an art form in and of itself.

“Plastic debris has ‘plasticity’ built into it,” says Robson. “It also has archival integrity built into it. From an environmental standpoint, this design flaw is catastrophic, but from an artist’s perspective it makes the material worthy of greater exploration.”

Her work also serves as an act of resistance, calling to mind how fragile our planet really is. “I am focused on how art can be of service in a changing world that relies, in part, on visionary thinkers using their specific skills to help envision and create a sustainable future so that the platform for all forms of human activity can remain in tact,” says Robson.

A recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture, a TED/Lincoln Re-Imagine Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts Art Work Grant, Robson has exhibited her work internationally in museums, galleries and non-traditional spaces since 2002. But you can also see her work online. Scroll down for some recent highlights.