Robyn Woolston: Strangers in a Strange Land

This exhibition is now closed 

23 March 2013 - 23 June 2013 

Free entry

Close-up of layers of different coloured plastic waste in a bale


Nine large bales of discarded plastic are at the centre of this major new artwork by Robyn Woolston, winner of the Liverpool Art Prize, 2012. Exploring the burden of inorganic waste, the installation highlights our relationship with the Earth and its finite resources. 

Recycling and responsibility is the overriding message of 'Strangers in a Strange Land' but the piece also represents an interesting art history reference. The layout of the bales nod to Carl Andre's infamous 'Equivalent VIII' (1966), a sculpture created from 120 firebricks. Like Andre's bricks the bales have a double-meaning; they are waste yet embody value, they have been both discarded and harvested.

The installation also features colourful photographs of the bales and a stark image, taken at a natural burial ground in South Warwickshire, where Robyn’s mother was buried. What appears to be a flawless solution; an ecological burial which returns the body to the earth, is contaminated by man-made materials amongst the decaying floral tributes consigned to the compost bin.

Accompanying these is the artist's book ‘Waste. Product. Istanbul.' This emotive set of photographs taken during a residency in Istanbul in 2012 documents the waste ‘processes’ Robyn observed, from stray dogs to 'Papermen' - the city's unofficial recyclers. 

Waste. Product. Istanbul. © Waste. Product. Istanbul. © Waste. Product. Istanbul. ©

The installation also includes 'Strangers in a Strange Land' by Albert Starling, the painting from the Walker's collection which lends the piece its title and depicts people living on the fringes of society, echoing Woolston’s work. 

Project supported by Centriforce Products

The Liverpool Art Prize is an annual competition celebrating the dynamic range of contemporary artists working in the city. An exhibition of this year's shortlisted artists will be held from 26 April to 8 June 2013, organised by arts organisation Metal. The winners of the main prize and the People’s Choice will be announced on 29 May 2013.

Limited edition artwork  

50 limited edition, signed and numbered original copies of 'Waste. Product. Istanbul.' will be available from the Walker Art Gallery shop, priced £50. A unique opportunity to acquire a limited edition artwork by Robyn Woolston.