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.
If you were wondering what to do with all your old toys why not use them to create art. This is what Robert Bradford did when he came across a box of his children’s old toys. Rather than discarding the collection of tiny plastic figures he used them to assemble colourful sculptures.
These have since been exhibited in numerous cities all around the world.
Most of his sculptures are of dogs, but he has also sculpted rhinos, ostriches, camels and fairies.
Bradford has shown the wide range of different styles available when using recycled materials.
Recycling can be the source of inspiration as well as comprising the materials for the art work.
Since the London Design Festival started last Friday exhibitions are popping up all over the capitol. From over 300 hundred different events to choose from it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are the best picks for recycled related design events and exhibitions.
Tent London is regarded as the most cutting-edge and progressive trade exhibition during the London Design Festival. Housed in the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, it has a huge range of independent and fascinating designers exhibiting their work. Tent runs from 20-23 September.
100% Design is the largest and most prestigious single-site design event in the UK, it hosts a huge range of brilliant design talent from all around the world. From the 19-22 September at Earls Court Exhibition Centre 2, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA.
Decorex is a huge design show held at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, this is for those with expensive taste, showing high end international interior design exhibits. From 23-26 September at Royal Hospital Road, London, Greater London SW3 4SR.
At the DesignJunction the sustainable exhibition 2nd Cycle will feature Artek, a Finnish furniture company, which seek to highlight the issue of conscious consuming and authentic design through an upcycling project. Their philosophy promotes traditional craftsmanship with modern interventions. “Nothing old is ever reborn but neither does it totally disappear. And that which has once been born, will always reappear in a new form.” –Alvar Aalto, one of the founders of Artek. A sale of second-hand vintage furniture run by Fernandez & Wells, will be available to buy at twentytwentyone. From 19 – 23 September at The Old Sorting Office New Oxford Street.
Designersblock at the Southbank Centre has a selection of sustainable furniture and lighting, featuring UTREM LUX, Polliander, Joe Gibbs and numerous other great designers. From the 20-23 September at the Southbank Centre.