February 9, 2022

Freshfields Village Welcomes Aurora Robson Art Installation

In March, Freshfields Village in partnership with the Kiawah Conservancy, welcomes a temporary art installation by Aurora Robson. The original sculpture, Troika, will be on display at the Lakeside Park in the Village through the end of April 2022. Troika is comprised of three blue and white spires that appear to emerge from the earth. The spires are made from welded industrial plastic debris (old barrels and bins) taken from the waste stream. They have an internal glow at night from solar powered lights located in their spines. Troika references how plants grow in a meandering fashion – but ultimately towards the light. It also speaks to the potential of shifting the direction of our downward spiral of waste into an upward spiral of innovation.

On Wednesday, March 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, join us for an Artist Reception & Unveiling Party at the Lakeside Dock. Guests can enjoy cocktails, light appetizers, and music while meeting the artist and viewing Troika.

Ahead of the unveiling, join Kiawah Conservancy on Wednesday, March 16 at 4:00 pm for The Art of Conservation, an exciting presentation by Erin Simon of the World Wildlife Fund and artist, Aurora Robson. Simon and Robson will discuss plastic pollution, art, conservation, and more. The presentation will take place at the Kiawah Island Town Hall and additional details are available here. Seating is limited, please register in advance.

About the Kiawah Conservancy:

The Kiawah Conservancy is a non-profit, accredited land trust focused on the preservation and restoration of natural habitats and conservation education. The Conservancy’s mission is to measure, manage, improve, and advocate for the ecological health of Kiawah Island and its environs. Now celebrating our 25th year, the Kiawah Conservancy has preserved over 60 properties, including over 2,000 acres of tidal saltmarsh and hummock islands within the Kiawah River watershed and we’re working to preserve more every day! Learn more about the Kiawah Conservancy online and join in our efforts.

About the Artist:

Aurora Robson is multi-media artist known predominantly for her innovative meditative work intercepting the waste stream. Her practice consists of creating visual hybrids between her own semi-abstract childhood nightmares and forms found in nature. It is a meditation on integration fueled by gratitude. She works to create harmony in uncomfortable areas ripe with neglect, friction, and chaos.

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. In addition to her studio practice, Robson is the founding artist of Project Vortex, an international collective of artists, designers and architects who are also working with plastic debris to transform toxic waste into art objects and valuable cultural experiences.

Artist Statement: 

The majority of the work I’ve been doing over the past eighteen years has been centered around exploring plastic debris as a viable art material. Over this time, I’ve developed a variety of methods, ranging from riveting, to threading, tying, injection welding, using an industrial sewing machine and ultrasonic welding. I see vast potential in this environmentally problematic material for art applications wherein it can do no harm and its longevity becomes an asset. Currently, I’m evolving my practice to integrate making filament from plastic debris that I will then use in 3d printing as well as injection welding.

I invite people to join me in re-imagining this material so that common misconceptions around it are eliminated. I take a serious play approach to working with plastic debris – partially in order to offset the depressing nature of it so that we are more comfortable confronting it. Through my work, I offer creative solutions to problems we humans have created for ourselves.

People tend to think of plastic as disposable, when it is precisely the opposite. Plastic does not biodegrade, rather photo-degrades, and only ever so slowly. This slow photo-degradation ultimately results in only smaller particulates, which are increasingly difficult to remove from our most valuable shared natural resources, namely water and air. While extracting plastic debris from its problematic destructive fate, I highlight its potential to become a harmless source of beauty and enjoyable reflection — instead of a toxic waste nightmare.

I give everyday objects a fantastical, intimate, playful quality for people to marvel at. Through my work, I aim to create conditions for hope and to serve as a catalyst for the proliferation of creative stewardship initiatives. After a few years of working with plastic debris, I also founded Project Vortex, an international collective of artists, designers and architects who also work with the material. Additionally, I often assist academic institutions in the implementation of course work I designed to help share some of my methods. In addition to my studio practice, I am dedicated to promoting a more robust culture of creative stewardship around this global problem.