Wooden lounge chairs turned upside down in order to clean the floor in Cinto, Tayrona National Park. Cinto is a small secluded beach in the national park on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, it is only accessible by boat but is a picture perfect paradise.
I saw this lampshade at an artist’s house in New Zealand. It was really striking and created a beautiful pattern at night. Even during the day it reflected the suns rays and lit up the room from time to time. It’s made from discarded metal tongs which have been welded together. The light is shone through it from above, allowing the light to bounce off it from different angles rather than seeking to escape from within.
The current installation at Sydney’s Carriageworks gives a whole new meaning to the idea of hoarding.
Waste Not by Chinese artist Song Dong is a huge collection of household and personal effects laid out across the large warehouse space.
Made up of over 10,000 individual objects the installation explores the changing way of life experienced by the artists family during China’s cultural revolution.
All these objects were accumulated by the artists mother who reused and repurposed everything she possibly could. For Song Dong’s family this was primarily a result of the great hardship they experienced during this time.
After the death of Song Dong’s father in 2005 he suggested that his mother worked with him to transform these objects into a work of art as a way of dealing with her grief and freeing herself from material possessions.
Song soon recognised the relationship his mother had with her belongings “my mother’s need to fill space with daily-life objects resulted from a need to fill the emptiness after my father’s death. I recognised that in this era of transition, a person could live through several different lives in just one lifetime. In the wink of an eye, one’s life could undergo great changes causing deep divisions between old and young.”
The installation is particularly fascinating as it very representative of China during this time. Song Dong explains:
“Win jin qi yong (rendered as Waste Not in English) was not only the guideline for my mother’s life, but also portrays a whole generation of Chinese people. In the Chinese dictionary, the explanation of wu jin qi yong reads anything that can somehow be of use, should be used as much as possible. Every resource should be used fully, and nothing should be wasted”
By including basic household items and even the skeleton of a house, the project invokes a certain nostalgia in people regardless of their origin. It allows you to connect with the memories of such material goods as symbols of family and childhood.
The vast quantities of objects allow for a strangely soothing and surreal experience while catching a glimpse into the home of a stranger.
Go see more of this amazing electrical wire art work on Colossal!
Artist Federico Uribe just released a lovely new collection of work made from electrical and a/v cables called, appropriately, Contectado. Uribe works almost exclusively with multitudes of repurposed objects to create vibrantly colored sculptures and 2D artworks like this.
At first glance Marc Sparfel’s elegant sculptures may not initially look like they fit our recycled theme, however these beautifully crafted animals have been shaped by discarded materials.
French born Sparfel spent his childhood in the countryside in Brittany, surrounded by nature and animals. He was particularly fascinated by horses and cows, a theme that is evident in his work.
After moving to Barcelona in 1999 he was immediately intrigued by the amount of furniture abandoned in the street and decided to do something with it.
Gradually he began to incorporate these materials in his sculptures, first in a long series of masks, inspired by tribal African artwork, and later he also used these in animals of all types and sizes applying his own unique style.
He describes how he began accumulating more and more discarded objects “Initially, I found the furnishings by chance during my walks, but later realized that in every neighborhood there is a set day to leave large items in the street. So I started walking around the old town according to the “furniture days” of each neighborhood to recover the material bit by bit. Over time, the neighbors began to leave me chairs in front of my workshop …”
He uses the deconstruction of the found furniture to trigger an idea and to gain inspiration “The first step is the design of the piece, the second is its construction. I draw my inspiration directly from the forms I find when dismantling the furniture.”
Admittedly this process does not always have the desired outcome and being a perfectionist he is sometimes unable to finish a piece “Sometimes I have the beginning of an idea, and can envision the head, horns, and legs, but some piece that should complete the sculpture is missing, which makes the design process longer. I have used some pieces of furniture many years after recovering them in the street.”
However when he does finish a sculpture, the result is an exquisite work of art.
These delicate, smooth and complex sculptures prove that reused materials can take on many forms, whether it is obvious or not.
Sparfel currently resides in Spain and his work is exhibited in galleries in Spain, France and Germany, and will soon be shown in the United States.