Some might call Aurora Robson a “garbage picker;” but on closer inspection, a “recycling Rauschenberg” may be a more accurate description. Although Robson’s sculptures elicit descriptions like “breathtaking” and “otherworldly,” the pieces start as trash. Some of her main media include plastic bottles and junk mail. “My goal is to take something negative and turn it into something positive,” she says. That dirt-to-diamond goal also explains Robson’s unusual inspiration: She designs her eco-friendly sculptures, collages, and paintings based on images from childhood nightmares.

Robson’s latest sculpture, The Great Indoors, is composed of 10,000 discarded bottles cut into various shapes and airbrushed with a water-based polycrylic spray. At the Rice Gallery in Houston, visitors can walk through the 40-foot-by-40-foot installation, immersing themselves in the guts of a strange organism. Smaller, glowing shapes lit by solar-powered LED lights line the inside of the sculpture. “You end up being consumed by that which you consume,” Robson explains. The show runs from September 18 through October 26.

Story by Steven K. Lee. This article originally appeared in Plenty in August 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008.