April 19, 2016

Courting Rituals

Inside Ward Roberts’ candy-hued work.

They’re almost too pretty to believe—Ward Roberts has traveled the world scouting for stylish sports courts—yes, those are a thing. The creme de la creme has been documented in his new series, “courts,” on view inside TenOverSix.

The Australian photographer’s study on pastel colors and architecture are devoid of human presence—which is eerie since sports courts are usually associated with a rowdy crowd. And when people do make a presence, they’re typically shrouded behind smoke.

Before you journey to TenOverSix to take in the art, read our interview below.

Much of your work is composed in pastel hues. Why are you drawn to them over black and white or jewel tones?

I use colors as a form of contrast, so in that sense, black and white doesn’t allow for that. The soft tones are calming and juxtapose the harsh/sharp concrete structures that surround the big cities.

What’s your favorite color to feature in your work and why?

I don’t really have a favorite. I like playful colours. At the moment I’m in to pink or mint green.

A lot of your work deals with loneliness in the modern world. How do you think social media has changed this feeling?

Social has probably enhanced it. I’m certainly interested in how increasingly emotionally detached we are and how we experience such significant emotions and life events through technology.

Do you prefer to shoot people or places?

Places as I love to to explore and be surprised.

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“Court 14” by Ward Roberts.
Where did your inspiration from the “Courts” series come from?

I grew up in Hong Kong and returned as an adult to explore places from my past. Playing sports was a big part of my childhood, so I felt drawn back to the courts. Seeing them with new eyes I was floored by their beauty.

How did you scout locations?

I used to play MTR lucky dip in Hong Kong but now I’ve become more strategic, I ring schools and do a lot of planning and research online and question locals and friends.

What’s next?

I recently launched my portrait series cartography online (on display at TenOverSix LA). I’m currently working on a book project for the “courts, series 02” (launching June 2016), and in addition to that I’ve just finished a beach series that was shot over a two year period.

The Details: Ward Roberts’ work is on display (and for sale!) at TenOverSix, inside the lobby of The Joule. 1530 Main Street.