Robi Walters’ exuberant collages and paintings are filled with vibrant bursts of colour. To create his mixed-media pieces, the London-born artist uses unusual materials, such as the packaging from household items and broken vinyl LPs.
These materials are nods to both pop art and the arte povera movement, as well as to the artist’s youthful interest in the graffiti and break dance culture of New York’s hip-hop scene. Walters arranges these fragments into lotus-like forms that relate to his interest in meditation, an act he practices every morning as a counterpoint to his routine of ending each day with a diaristic painting.
What the critics say
Robi was recently selected by The Daily Telegraph Amazing 15’ Arts and Culture section, as one of the “15 Top Creatives in the UK”. This recognises Robi as one of the most exciting creative talents working in Britain today and, by public vote, won the Arts and Culture category after being shortlisted in the Creating the Amazing initiative.
Even though there’s obvious labour involved in the pieces, they have the effect of lightness, and of freeing something in the viewer. It’s like a million raindrops making a lush pool of water. The shapes shift and change – organic but with the edge of industry and modernity in the recycled medium of cardboard and vinyl. Like the material fragments coming together; Robi’s work provokes wordless emotion that creates an impulse of positivity, making your heart beat faster. Your heart starts to beat a rhythm that connects you to something bigger, deeper, and infinite.”
Thandie Newton – January 2013
Robi’s work is exhibited extensively in the US, Canada and Europe. He has created artworks in collaboration and for a diversity of clients, including; Sir Paul McCartney, Adele, Michael Bublé, Bono Bryan Adams and Mary J. Blige.
Kaleidacycle – every petal counts
“I think the first piece in this series was made in 2009. It all started after watching a documentary called Zeitgeist which I heard Ken Wilber discussing. It was the first time I had seen anything like this and it had a huge impact on me.
I’m not sure if everything in the documentary was true but exposing some of the darker forces in human nature made me think in a different way. I wanted to explore a subject that we do not talk about very often and visually turn it into something positive.
I looked around my kitchen in Canada and saw my overflowing recycling bin which made me think of two things: how much waste a household produces and the growth of our population which is producing this waste. At the time there seemed to be more conversation around consumption and resources than waste and destruction.
I took the card packaging from my recycling bin and cut them into petal shapes to create a larger image representing a thousand petal lotus. I meditate every day which keeps me grounded and focused. The lotus is related to the chakra system which is the spinning colours of light in different positions of the human spine, which I explored in my meditation.
I’m taking everyday waste and turning it into something that to me represents the connection between the physical world and the infinite.”