Plastic nation by Robyn Ward: a vivid exhibition of beautiful and cruel reality
Robyn Ward is a contemporary Irish painter with permanent studios in London, Los Angeles and most recently Mexico City, the place where the exhibition of his series “Plastic Nation” was inaugurated, a harsh criticism of the uncontrolled use of plastics that are destroying the environment.
The pieces on “Plastic Nation” reflects a number of endangered animals on abstract backgrounds
In order to create a world which is a mix of abstract and realism to form his own language. His message is powerful, Robyn, explores societies overuse of plastic, pollution and how we are destroying our natural habitat and the environment. At the same time, he highlights big brands and organisations who are contributing to the world’s demise, demanding their attention and ultimate action.
“Hope this series will inspire people to be more mindful of the damage we are doing and encourage them to make small changes. I would love for people to understand further how much we are destroying our natural habitat and these beautiful animals, perhaps encouraging a more conscious buying habitat in their own homes and lifestyles”, explains Ward.
A self-taught artist
He began his career as a teenager on the streets of Belfastin Northern Ireland, creating large-scale graffiti work on bridges and derelict buildings.
Ward has worked out of studios across NY, London, LA, Bangkok, Shangai, Jakarta, Amsterdam, Berlin and Edinburgh, to name but a few cities. He is currently working outof Mexico City.
Ward has worked under many pseudonyms and different collectives throughout the years, until recently doing his first solo show under his real name in London in 2017. This quickly grabbed the attention of media and he has been working under his name since.
The artist works in mixed media on canvas, combining acrylics, inks, watercolours, oils andspray paint. Taking inspiration from the world around him, he paints each series in a different studiolocationes across the world, themed around the current social and economic political landscape.
“At the moment my work all tends to be based on the current social and economic political landscape, so I always hope that they will help push a message and open people’s eyes and minds up more to the issues that I am painting about”
“Sometimes these are light-hearted and tongue in cheek, while others are about very serious issues in the world”
Plastic Nation is shocking from the moment you get into the room
Robyn prepared a special soundtrack and collected a big pile of garbage to make the spectator feel as uncomfortable as the animals which cannot enjoy their own habitats anymore.
“I have been thinking about this body of work since about 2014. I usually plan the theme of an exhibition three to five years out, constantly sketching and rethinking ideas. I then go into the studio to produce the pieces quite intensely for months at a time. During this period, the work evolves a lot. Although part of a series about banning single-use plastic, every painting has its own unique story. Colourways and energy levels vary quite dramatically depending on where I was mentally. I can go into really dark places at times. It’s very up and down”.
In 2019 and 2020 his series “Plastic Nation” will be shown in 23 venues around the world including the likes of London, NY, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Seoul, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Madrid, Ibiza, Montreal, México City, Belfast, Stockholm, Oslo, Hamburg, Dubai to name a few.