1.28.2009

Sculpture :: Recycled

Last year I was invited to participate in a local art show whose theme was Recycled Art.
How many places could I take that concept ? ? ! Great fun.

My interior design focus for many years has been ReThink-ReUse-ReInvent. I like nothing better than taking a pile of junk and creating something surprisingly amazing with it. Isn't that what we all do when we go to a flea market, find an odd weathered window frame and hang it on our wall. Viola ... . . instant art.

The sculpture above started out life as this simple sculptural backdrop in my living room (details, later). This very long , high ceilinged , wall cried out for something very textural and soft on a rather grand scale. I also knew I liked the idea of being able to change the focus seasonally.

A few bamboo rods + many (many) yards of wrinkled cotton muslin should be a good start. I then found some large vintage music rolls, which had started life in an elementary school classroom.

This was my first version of "How Many Things Can I Do
with a Few Sticks and A Bunch of Fabric Hanging From The Ceiling."

Soft, serene, summery ... . . and really rather Zen.
Winter approached and I was feeling the need for bit more solidity and structure. Something with an edge to contrast all that wrinkled softness. I was also mourning the loss of one of my favorite dresses - a simple black voile wisp. Alas, there were rips along the shoulder. Those rips may have been sad on a wearable garment .. . but, as a piece of sculpture - they were just added texture.

Up went a piece of foam insulation board, which I covered in leftover Caramel Silk Taffeta . My fascination with vintage music continued by ripping some pages out of a music score and pinning them between taffeta and voile. Look closely and you'll see a couple more of those pages under the black mats on the dining table, as well as crumpled around the steel balls on the oval platter. We like repetition almost as much as recycling.
The photos of this wall ended up on two of my business cards .. . . part of a series done by that wonderful London company , Moo. They'll do these adorable little cards with various pics on the front side and your contact info on the back.

I was then involved in trading small art cards called Artist Trading Cards, primarily through a flickr group. In this piece I stitched and layered a Moo card over some remnants of that muslin and caramel taffeta.
Recycled image, recycled fabric AND the repetition of the fabrics pictured in the photo.
The photo below documents what I eventually did with those Moo business cards. I felt that placing a square hole in the corner of the card with a black ribbon through it made for a much more amusing card. People really love them and always smile when handed one of these cards. It feels more like a tiny gift .. .
and several together comprises a compact portfolio.
But, I digress.
Let's get back to that first photo, of the Suspended Hearts, for the Recycled Art Show.
The fabric ball is composed of ripped strips of the wrinkled muslin, which started out life as that sculptural backdrop. After two years, new upholstery rendered it obsolete.
I took it down and ripped one panel into a very long pieces ... . which were then tied together and wrapped into a series of fabric balls.

Art : Recycled
Life : Recycled

It's really just about seeing everything with new eyes.
In today's world
the question asked should move beyond
"What is it?"
to
"What can it be?"

10 comments:

Cote de Texas said...

I adore those cards with the ribbons - what a fabulous idea that I might just have to steal from you! I love the beams in your house and that wall with your art work looks so great, I love your style! I also love the wall with the sheet music on it. so original! and the airstream - love it!

Paula Scott said...

Life: Recycled
Art: Recycled.
Either way, it's a winner!
Just did that with my moms' dresses made of what is now considered to be vintage fabric.
Fab post! I love being taken on that journey!

vicki archer said...

You are brilliant - such creative ideas and I think your art work and the ability to experiment and change direction utterly fab. The cards are very cool and I shall definitely have to steal that idea too - if that's ok? Great post, xv.

Chrisy said...

Oh i so enjoyed reading your post...wandering through your room and getting the history of the different looks...thanks for this little gift in my day...

paris parfait said...

You are so clever! Love what you've done with recycled and vintage goods. As for the Moo cards, I've seen lots of incarnations of those and they're always intriguing. My friend Di of Ghost Furniture has several Moo cards attached to one ribbon as a "mini portfolio." You're right, they're like little gifts.

JM said...

Congratulations on recycling and also on your imaginative and tasteful work.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

If I hadn't missed this post I would have known what Moo Cards are! Not sure how that happened. Very cool. Very creative. And I love the palette. Terrific!
Catherine

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Anonymous said...
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ArtPropelled said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post from start to finish, Judith! Gorgeous photo of the muslin drop, Caramel silk taffetta and dress. It makes a great Moo Card .... and ATC.