Arte povera

  • Contemporary sculpture – pliers and plaster (and paint)

    Contemporary sculpture in the Arte Povera genre

    Pliers Piece I

    Pliers, plaster, acrylic paint. 12x1815cm. 2020

    A sculpture composed of a pair of splayed handyman’s pliers and a painted plastercast of the inside of a coffee filter cone.

    Pliers and other handyman’s tools such as hammers and spanners are recurrent features in some of my constructions.

    The work is probably influenced by the Arte Povera movement, and the plastercast of the inside of the coffee filter may owe something to artists such as Rachel Whiteread (although I don’t think that she’s known for adding colour to her casts).

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  • Metamorphosis – recycling in contemporary art

    Environmental art - contemporary sculpture from waste packaging

    Metamorphosis (from pie containers to insect larvae)

    Wood (recycled food containers). 2021.

    A sculpture fabricated from recycled wooden pie containers.
    The pie containers, for Charlie Bigham pies (mainly fish pies with the odd cauliflower cheese in there), are stacked as curved forms suggestive of insect larvae such as caterpillars or grubs.
    Insect larvae undergo metamorphosis when they change into the imago or mature form of the insect. Here the pie containers have undergone a similar metamorphosis by turning into the insect larvae.

    This work reflects my interest in the natural world and the environment, as well as my concerns for environmental issues caused by human activity (this work being an example of recycling or upcycling of consumer waste).
    An example of art made from scrap material. A form of arte povera perhaps.

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  • Assemblage from discarded objects

    Contemporary art assemblage from upcycled objects

    Assemblage of discarded objects

    Ball and other detritus. September 2021

    A sculpture or assemblage constructed from old objects such as a discarded ball, clips for holding paper on a drawing board and a discarded homemade ‘constructivist’ toy.
    An example of up-cycling in art, with associations to art movements such as arte povera and environmental art.

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  • Milk bottle heads – sculpture from recycled rubbish

    Contemporary art - sculpture from recycled rubbish or junk - milk bottle heads

    Milk bottle heads
    Plastic milk bottles, ink. September 2018

    Plastic milk bottles with human heads drawn onto them.
    These heads are an example of art created from rubbish. Their recycled nature is partly an observation on our throw-away consumer culture.
    The bottles are surprisingly head-shaped, reminding me somewhat of various non-Western forms of sculpture. I particularly like the way that the milk bottle handles make very interesting and bizarre noses.
    I’m in the process of making several dozen of them, as their impact is increased as their numbers increase.

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  • Contemporary Arte Povera sculpture

    Contemporary arte povera sculpture - repeating elements

    Set Square

    Wood, ceramic, acrylic paint Height 12cm August 2017

    A sculpture composed of four identically shaped, differently coloured blocks of wood mounted on two ceramic tiles.
    The wood blocks are set at an angle to the vertical to give the impression that they may be partly concealed within the base on which they stand.
    The work is deliberately made from mundane material at a small scale which gives the work a surprising intimacy.

    The piece is composed of scrap material that has been recycled or upcycled to create the artwork. It is no doubt influenced by the Arte Povera movement which used discarded artefacts to construct artworks. It is also influenced by the current awareness of environmental issues and the problems posed by consumer waste.

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