2017 National Mature Media Award WINNER

2017 National Mature Media Award WINNER
The Creative Landscape of Aging Wins a NMMA Award!


Saturday, June 30, 2012


There are second lives. Not for us but for tangible items in our lives.

Many of us fill our homes with beautiful things that we love. But that love can expire; things get old, worn out, broken, boring and then tossed out and replaced by new beloved items. It’s a cycle that is both cathartic and potentially wasteful.

So it is exciting and inspiring to witness the movement that interprets things to transform it from its original state. Some processes are simple to approach. In my world teaching creativity workshops, we use empty toilet paper rolls to make napkin rings, paper clips to make necklaces, cut fruit for stamping designs and assorted old magazines for collage,decoupage, and paper beads. While others may require more skill and tools, they all encapsulate a vision that flexes to see things differently.

In Paraguay where a violin is worth more than a house, the Landfillharmonica was created to use recycled materials to make them in to functional musical instruments to play beautiful music. This is extraordinary and inspiring.

In general, there are basically two groups: one group uses things to repurpose them in to functional pieces while another group creates nonfunctional items in art.

Examples in the functional realm:

• Don’t throw out that old bicycle until you have thought about transforming its parts into a chair, table or bookshelves.:
• A coffee shop made of shipping crates and, yes, it's a Starbucks.is a great architectural feat • Using just the bottoms of old plastic water bottles, a beautiful chandelier is born http://inhabitat.com/recycled-water-bottle-cascade-chandelier/
• Harvesting mushrooms in recycled coffee grinds was made into a big business by two young college graduates, Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, who turned down lucrative job offers to pursue entrepreneurship.
Stuart Haygarth creates exceptional chandeliers that are made of found objects from plastic bottles to beach debris to eyeglass frames.
• Old tube tires are used as a fabulous source for fashion accessories produced by Hope for Women which sells handcrafted fair trade products made by economically disadvantaged women worldwide.
A bicycle made from cardboard was created by an Israeli inventor who was inspired by seeing a canoe made of paper.
Plastic waste from fishermans' excursions are transformed to create furniture.
Jorge Penades uses leather waste from shoe and automobile industries, for example, and shreds them, adds glue and its set in iron moulds and then glued.
Micaella Pedros, a recent Design graduate, makes furniture joints using discarded plastic bottles by heat shrinking them..

Examples in the art world:
Louise Nevelson- created mammoth “assemblages” made from discarded wood, cans and other materials and uniformly painted them in one color to unify the objects in the sculpture.
Joseph Cornell sought a variety of discarded elements to frame them in boxes that evoke memories, thoughts, curiosity.
John Chamberlain innovatively used crushed and twisted automobile parts to create sculpture that was both colorful and dynamic.
Brian Jungen uses ordinary objects to create extraordinary art. Whether its sports jerseys, sneakers or even golf bags, Brian is masterful at creating new objects that are artful and amazing.
• So much litter is washed ashore from our oceans and now some of it is being reclaimed and transformed into very special art.
An Israeli student of fashion design is using live bacteria to create spectacular prints that are being used in accessories and clothing.
Donna Mc Cullough creatively recycles using artful welding

The movement that reuses, repurposes and recreates ordinary objects enlightens our lives and provides lessons in creativity. These are made by people who look at the world around them with greater flexibility and a unique vision. We benefit from these transformations just as much as our environment benefits from a reduced landfill.

Recycle Reuse Repurpose Recreate RETHINK

The purpose - where I start - is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it's reuse. ---Issey Miyake

One of the best ways to get people to look at artwork is to create it out of materials that they recognize. -Jungen.