Final work presented in SITE 09 at the Dunedin School of Art prior to graduation.
To glean is to make effective use of waste or leftovers. We are a society that consumes more resources than the planet can generate. By gleaning waste materials from a disposable consumer culture, the work engages in regeneration of newspapers and found metal objects.
The cultivation of this project explores the process of collage and screenprinting, allowing me to excavate urban detritus and encapsulate an archive of civilisation. Works challenge the notion of value placed on consumer waste.
The urban botanist endeavors to supplant the value and meaning of waste into objects of display. Urban detritus adopts renewable, organic form.
The Urban Botanist - Crooked, 2009
collage & screenprint on newspaper 598 x 420 mm
Newspaper is glued using flour paste like posters pasted around the city. The layers are cut or torn, uncovering text and colour that exists on the page becoming a collapsed collage. Text provides titles for the work while commenting on current topics relating to our consumer society revealing a palimpsest of diverse layers beneath the surface.
Found flat metal discs, the detritus of urbanisation and industrialisation, are used in the screen print process to overlay the surface of the paper, inverting the décollage process to further disrupt original meaning.
The newspaper is dried slowly, creating an abstract, multi layered form under tension, curving and buckling of its own accord. The work regenerates a former existence, appearing as tree bark into a hybrid of urban botany, containing traces of urban identity.
Wunderkammer I, 2009,
mixed media on paper,
In the reclamation of metal objects, the discovery of paint surfaces blistering and peeling like bark from exposure to the elements experiences another transformation in the gleaning process. These paint layers reveal on the underside, colours, patterns and textures, providing a surrealist landscape for décollage of the discarded into objects of art to complement the newspaper work. This work uncovers a connection to the Wunderkammer, or cabinets of curiosity, the sense of wonder exposed from paint layers on discarded metal objects, originating as cabinets, challenging the classification of their worth.
This work exposes the printmaker who allows nature to offer the print. It has the same feeling as in the workshop when you peel the paper off the plate after rolling through the press for the first time, revealing one of those happy accidents.
SITE 09 display - 15 units on a narrow shelf
SITE 09 Wunderkammers