What is debris? What relationship do we have to its various forms? How many wads of trash bags, shards of plastic, or bins of junk mail does it take to ingrain in us a belief that some materials are better left avoided?
Aurora Robson begs to differ when it comes to treating debris with avoidance tactics. In fact, this artist has done the opposite: Robson highlights our ever-present influx of waste, specifically that which she intercepts from water streams, by using it as the material and conceptual foundation of her work. This artist is impacting the behaviors and attitudes of those around her by literally and figuratively committing her practice to what one may call “debris recreation” — that is, the playful and physical activity which begins outside, develops in the studio, and ends in the form of new objects to consider. Robson opens our eyes to unexpected artwork and gives us a taste of how one may transform purposeless residue into meaningful creations:
I like to work specifically with debris that causes environmental issues to help illustrate how artists can address these and other societal problems through art.
“My work is about subjugating the negative. I like to work specifically with debris that causes environmental issues to help illustrate how artists can address these and other societal problems through art. Plastic, for example, poses a growing environmental and health threat. As the human population grows, more and more plastic is produced, which inadvertently finds its way into our water and contaminates the food chain.
Plastic pollution is merely displaced abundance.
I love collaborating with communities to help them recognize that plastic pollution is merely displaced abundance. I believe that our relationship to material is a reflection of our relationship to ourselves and to the divine. Through the meditative process of art making, all humans can benefit by becoming more sensitive and gentler to themselves, to each other, and to the planet.
In many communities, expensive art materials are not an option. Therefore, it seems the development of techniques that utilize pre-existing materials (and, more importantly, ones that would otherwise pose problems) is a logical course of action. Through exploring innovative ways of working with debris (as opposed to mining the earth for new raw material), human beings can strengthen their creative problem-solving skills while decreasing their burden on the environment and our shared limited resources.”