Robyn Ward: Walking in the Dark


This book is not yet published, but will be available from April 2024.

ISBN: 9788857250878 Category:


The work by the Irish contemporary artist.

Edited by Shai Baitel, the book features twenty-two large painted canvases and six freestanding sculptures that speak to Ward’s nomadic lifestyle driven by a need for both escapism and its darker counterpart, avoidance. Though known for his figurative work, Ward explores these themes through abstract compositions and mixed media sculptures.

Walking in the Dark speaks to the themes of migration and traumas – both national and personal – by asking the question of: why do people roam? What is the aftermath of perpetual movement? Like the abstracted nature of Ward’s artworks, a nomadic sensibility often abstracts the deeper reasons for such roaming. His work begets questions around what exactly Ward is veiling through his travels. Like the act of walking in the dark, viewing Ward’s work requires one’s eyes to adjust to see what would otherwise not be detected.

Using wet, loose brush strokes with distinctive markings on the oversized canvases, he tells his story through a nostalgic veil of innocence and naivety, revealing snapshots of the past while simultaneously obscuring or hiding others, with each layer depicting different fragments of time that are indeed screen-shots of the artist’s life. There is an abundance of hidden psychological, political, and emotional meaning to be discovered in Walking in the Dark, exemplified by the labyrinthine and shaded design of the space where the artworks are being shown.

It narrates a story that is both timely and provocative, reflecting the artist’s personal experience with chaos, governance, and violence, while commenting on the breakdown of society and referencing to both historical and modern-day global disputes. While engaging with themes of destruction and conflict, Ward’s work addresses his own life, defined by a perpetual sense of movement and a constant feeling of geographical restlessness.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 24 x 28 cm
Publisher name Skira Editore S.p.A
Publication date 30 April 2024
Number of pages 112
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Shai Batel
Dimensions 24 x 28 cm
Weight 300 g


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Shai Baitel is arts executive with an extensive experience in the art & culture fields. Best known as the co-founder of Mana Contemporary, a global, multidisciplinary and comprehensive arts center, Baitel currently serves as the artistic director of the Modern Art Museum (MAM) in Shanghai and has worked on projects as creative director with the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, among other institutions. He is a writer and contributor for several prominent publications.