By Raquel Gil.
Australian born photographer, Ward Roberts, turns athletic courts into visual masterpieces, changing pastel landscapes into highly structured and engaging compositions. Spending much of his childhood living in Hong Kong, before relocating to Melbourne in 1994, Ward graduated from RMIT University with a Bachelor of Arts in photography. He spent four years documenting communal splay spaces across six international cities: his native Melbourne, his childhood home of Hong Kong, as well as New York, London and Bali. Framing the sporting courts and fields as neutral territory – “a site of shared experience and understanding,” ironically, Ward deliberately excludes people. “Courts” highlights the isolation of these spaces, an effect intensified by the high-rise buildings that surround the empty playing fields. The photo series became the subject of Ward’s debut book, published by Erm Books/And Collective this past September. He describes the project’s conceptual underpinning, concluding that “their emptiness is a sign of neglect from a more sedentary, plugged-in, indoor society.” Ward is currently represented by The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong.