Art far from rubbish
TARWIN Lower artist Mandy Gunn has won top prize at this year’s Creative Wast art exhibition at arc Yinnar.,
Ms Gunn recreated a burnt-out forest using shredded inner tubes, cotton and recycled wood.
The work voted best exhibit, titled Firesticks, was part of a series of works the artist started around the time of the Victorian bushfires in 2009.
“The work seemed to take on a new resonance when I looked at the hundreds of acres of skeleton trees left after the fire,” Ms Gunn said.
“The work also references the Aboriginal practice of frequent small burns to rejuvenate the vegetation and also to flush out snakes. This practice has been referred to as ‘firestick farming’.”
The longest of 14 sticks is 2.5m and the work was inspired by Ms Gunn’s work with Aboriginal communities on the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, where indigenous people burnt the land.
A series of black spiky sticks, the exhibit was made from disused inner tubes hand cut into shreds and woven on a loom. Each long piece was then sewn into a tube around a wooden baton.
Gippsland Regional Waste Management Group executive officer Matthew Peakes, who was part of the judging panel, said Ms Gunn’s work was extremely evocative particularly in light of Gippsland’s recent and long term history.
“Mandy has managed to capture a historic element of life in this country, that of firestick farming, as well as the more recent devastation caused by fires in 2009 – and all with recycled material that might otherwise now be sitting in landfill,” he said.
He added that other award winners showed great creativity to develop items as diverse as an outdoor lamp made from an old couch frame, wire and dog food can lids, through to a mask made from plastic milk bottles. More than 40 items were exhibited.
As well as Ms Gunn, the other award winners were Chris Waterman and Marita Anderson from Jeeralang (most inventive award) with a work titled Ned Wong, an outdoor bird scarer made from scrap steel, stainless steel, glass and silver; Lawrie Havrillay of Boolarra (most practical) for his work titled Lampus Prickelii , the outdoor lamp made from steel couch frame, roof vent, wire and lids; and Leslie Anne Schmidt of Yinnar took out the most artistic award for a Peacock Mask made from milk bottles.
The Best Agricultural Application award was taken out by John Abery of Hazelwood North, who constructed Fire Gate from burnt tools and timber from Black Saturday 2009.
The school’s exhibit was won by Churchill Primary School student Caitlyn Sorby with a piece called Elephants at Waterhole, made from milk cartons, pancake carton, and mixed media.
The exhibition has attracted good visitor numbers, with 75 people attending the official opening and a steady flow of people since.
Comments recorded in the guest book included “excellent use of recycled materials,” “fantastic and SO imaginative,” “a most magnificent show” and “incredible – loved it!”
The aim of the exhibit is to demonstrate how, with some thought and flair, what might otherwise become waste can be transformed into an artistic and/or functional item.
Further information about the exhibition can be obtained by contacting the Gippsland Regional Waste Management Group on telephone 5633 2744 or arc Yinnar 51 631310.
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=3766