Art + Activism: Aurora Robson

Over the summer, my Mom and I took a trip out to Southampton to walk around, enjoy the lovely weather, and peruse the charming shops on Main Street. While window shopping at Ralph Lauren, Aerin, and the other cute stores, we were surprised to discover a little art museum/gallery space called The Southampton Center. Without knowing what to expect, we decided to take a peek. Upon walking in we were confronted with a blank wall that had an unusual sculpture suspended from the ceiling in front of it:

Aurora Robson | York Avenue
Wasn’t too sure what it was, but I admired the piece and found it to be strange and pretty. We then continued around the wall, and found this hiding behind it:
Aurora Robson | York Avenue
It was a “wow” moment. I just stood there marveling at the explosion of colors and shapes before me, which I completely wasn’t expecting. It was like wandering around in some sort of strange dream, and I absolutely loved it.
Aurora Robson | York Avenue

Aurora Robson | York Avenue

It turned out to be the work of a New York City based artist named Aurora Robson, who started off as a painter and then moved into three dimensional artworks. The sculptures are made from pieces of plastic debris, including bottles and bottle caps. On her website, Aurora speaks about creating these pieces based off of nightmares that she was having. I find it really inspiring that she was able to take something frightening and unpleasant and turn it into something so arresting and beautiful.

Aurora Robson | York Avenue

Aurora Robson | York Avenue

At first I thought the pieces were just beautiful in and of themselves, but after a little reading I discovered that there’s an important message behind Aurora’s work. Besides being an incredibly talented artist, she is also an environmental activist (“subtle yet determined”, as she phrases it) and the founder of Project Vortex, an international group of artists who participate in environmental clean-up efforts and utilize the collected debris (mostly plastic) in their artwork. The proceeds from these pieces are then funneled back into efforts to clean up our water sources. How cool is that? To take useless, damaging garbage, and transform it into something beautiful-I’m just in awe of Aurora’s dedication to using her talent for a great cause. As if creating beautiful, imaginative art wasn’t enough!

Check out Aurora Robson’s site to see some of the other imaginative and meaningful work she has created out of trash bags, junk mail, plastic bottles, and other waste.

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Photographs via my Iphone


  1. Alyssa says: October 21, 2013

    These are mind blowing–SO COOL!

  2. Nikki says: October 21, 2013

    Those pieces are really cool! And what a great cause!


  3. Holly Kvinge says: October 21, 2013

    Beautiful! And what a wonderful cause

  4. Majda Mehanovic says: October 21, 2013

    I love this style of abstract sculpture! I studied abstract expressionism for four years in high school and always understand the beauty and depth that goes into each piece! So glad to see this post! xoxo

    Majda |

  5. Rachel says: October 22, 2013

    Whoa these are awesome!

  6. Jackie-York Avenue says: October 22, 2013

    My thoughts exactly, Rachel!

  7. Jackie-York Avenue says: October 22, 2013

    Thanks Majda! That's so cool that you studied abstract sculpture! You must appreciate these on a whole different level than I do.

  8. Jackie-York Avenue says: October 22, 2013

    I agree, Holly!

  9. Jackie-York Avenue says: October 22, 2013

    I know! I was so impressed when I found out what her thought process was behind the pieces. Very admirable.

  10. Jackie-York Avenue says: October 22, 2013

    I know, you can hardly tell they're plastic. She really transformed the material. I don't think I'm familiar with Dale Chiluly's glass sculptures, I'm going to look them up now. Thanks for letting me know!

  11. Jackie-York Avenue says: October 22, 2013

    I agree Alyssa! I was so blown away.

  12. Griffin @ The Design Itch says: December 1, 2013

    Amazing what she did with plastic! They sort of remind me of Dale Chihuly's glass sculptures.

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