Posts Tagged ‘assemblage’

Art & Recycling. Textiles & Mixed media.

Friday, January 18th, 2019

Art and recycling goes hand-in-hand in the textile and mixed- media side of my arts practice.

My artworks are often created from old, discarded clothing, vintage and antique textiles, papers and found objects. I enjoy making use of stuff that has had a life already; a life that is often purely functional and as far removed from ‘art’ as you can imagine.

I’ve been recycling all my life to make art. As a child, I pulled apart, old clothing and nylon stockings “I used to collect fabric waste from mum’s sewing and knitting basket, making wall hangings out of that.” Nowadays, I cut up my own clothing and others, antique quilts, vintage linens, fancywork and men’s suits.

The process of searching and collecting materials, is also, a very important part of my art’s making. It may take weeks, months, even years, to find a piece that talks to me. Most of the time though, a fragment of fabric, clothing or object, will trigger off the idea. I collect and document many of the pieces I find, by labeling or remembering, its history of when & where it was found. This gives me another layer to work with.

The search for materials has taken me to many weird and wonderful places over the years.

The sometimes, dodgy, back streets of cities, in Barcelona, Italy and France. Markets and charity shops in Australia, France and England. Underground spaces, abandoned buildings, coast lines and vacant beaches. Friends, family and strangers, have also, donated materials to use in my work.

By transforming old, recycled and reused materials, it enriches the stories I like to tell in my contemporary art and gives a new life, to materials destined to be wasted and thrown away.

© 2019, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Collecting. What do you like to Collect?

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

COLLECTING
Collecting. What do you like to Collect? Collecting can become so addictive, especially for an artist. My found objects and things are the inspiration and starting point for most of my artwork and ideas. When I see something, it can trigger off an instant idea and give me a vision to work with. I think this is why I love museums, as display and arranging objects are an important part of my sculptural and photographic work.

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I have been collecting since I was born. I used to hide stuff under my bed in boxes as a child. As an adult, I’m still putting stuff into boxes, plastic bags and other strange things. I view my collections as arrangements. They are all art installations scattered around my place, as well as, material for use in my arts projects

 

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Walking through the streets to the local shop I always come home with something foot trodden. A piece of paper, packaging, a bright piece of plastic, glass all, will be used in my art, eventually.

 

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When I travel overseas (much to the sometimes embarrassment to friends and family) I pick up off the ground, bottle tops, lolly papers, wires bright bits of plastic, even if an item might disturb me, I’ll bring it home. On a tour once, in Europe the whole busload of passengers collected bottle tops for me.

 

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My stuff may brood for years in a dark space or cupboard, till I come across it again, sending me off on another project.

 

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On my last trip to France, I came home with 15 kilo of junk. I collected baguette bags, string, stones, free ad cards, labels from food items, torn posters, books and papers from a bin.

 

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I also, collect vintage photographs. They tell stories of people and places, I’ll never know about, so, I make my own narrative.

 

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Scientific stuff, equations, wire, tin, bones, animal skeletons, fur, hair, watches, old mobile covers, old shuttlecocks, vintage buttons, eye glasses, shriveled things, found numbers and fonts from keyboards.

 

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Magazines and advertising, boxes, packaging, all sorts paper, vintage clothes, fabrics, wall papers, shells, vintage items and china, driftwood, snow-globes, toys, children’s books and so much more

 

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I go to op shops, city streets, airports, underground spaces, beaches, garage sales, friends houses and sometimes, find stuff on EBay. Part of the fun and attraction for me is, the actual finding of discarded material that has been thrown away. I will recycle it into something else or, just show it’s beauty, as it is.

 

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Collections of things are extremely important, for future generations too. 100’s of years from now, someone may come across my piece of fabric, wallpaper ,lolly paper, box ,bone etc. that will give them information on how we lived in our time, in our place.

Collections are also portraits of those who love to glean…..

Check out Andy Warhol’s boxes of stuff he collected over his life time
“Warhol Time Capsules”

© 2015, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.