There is nothing new about recycled art, artists and artisans have always reused materials. But reduce, reuse, recycle are the buzz words for the 21st century and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure so they say. It is cheap, environmentally friendly and right now, very trendy.
Almost anything can be turned into a work of art and as long as you don’t steal it or break any rules to get it, you can find your next masterpiece pretty much anywhere absolutely free. From the natural – collecting a few shells by the beach or wild flowers in the forest, to the man made; picking up tin cans and plastic bags. You could be on holiday, camping in France or walking along your own street and eyeing amazing finds.
Great art, like great literature is about form and content. What does it depict? What is it made from? Why did the artist choose that particular material to make that particular work? It is all organically intertwined in layers of meaning and nuance.
Or not. Maybe artists just find some junk and make something nice out of it. Who knows? Perhaps in our search to understand another person’s creative output, we read too much into it. Either way, art is good for the soul and if you are lucky enough to be able to make it, possibly for the bank balance.
This incredible driftwood horse is so lifelike, except I guess for the see through bit.
Practical and relevant – a bike arch for the entry to a bike parking lot by Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector.
Tyres never looked so good and amazing horse power.
Who needs paving stones if you like sinking a few cans? The room will really feel like it’s spinning with Robert Zeverina’s work.
This is almost historical art – ye olde cassette tape by Paul Griffiths.
Ohhh, a bunny. Tom Deininger scavenged old cigarette filters, producing a textured sculpture with a potent tobacco smell. Not so cute and cuddly now.
The Ocean by Derek Melander. This fabulous wall-like wave is made from folded clothes. Excellent if you work in a laundry or have OCD.
This toy man by Robert Bradford is just a bit creepy and menacing. If your toys come alive at night like this, best to stay asleep.
Trash People by HA Schult. This army of 1000 men made from cans, computers and plastic have travelled the globe and been on show. They give China’s terracotta soldiers a run for their money in the ambition stakes.
Another ambitious project, this one by Nek Chand is truly heroic. Over 18 years he secretly made an entire rock garden in India with animals and people made from coloured bangles.
His one man mission was threatened with destruction by city officials when he was found out, but eventually it was opened to public. Now that is the power of art.
Blogger Midge is an avid art appreciator, but can’t paint or sculpt to save her life. She travels regularly via the euro tunnel to enjoy the delights of European galleries