Friday, December 14, 2018

One woman's trash is another woman's treasure....

Constance Old up-cycles pieces of plastic and paper using the traditional technique of rug hooking. We met at Art Palm Springs 2018, and I liked her work a lot. I immediately had the idea to team Constance up with the Joshua Tree Clean Team, a tireless group who keep the desert looking close to pristine. She was very interested in the idea, and I put her in touch with Cynthia Heaton, lead organizer. 





Constance arrived in October, 2018 just a few days ahead of the next Clean Team outing. She carried out a test run, carefully organizing a taxonomy of her findings. On the appointed day, Constance went out with the team - eleven people filled thirteen large trash bags in just one hour! Constance hauled all thirteen bags back to the studio for processing.



 

She sorted the items, selecting the most promising pieces and refilling the bags with her discards. Selected items were then washed and sorted into categories by size, color and material. Constance then began making work. Her pieces in Joshua Tree differed from those in her home studio. They were much larger in scale and composed of differing elements. Box springs, pop cups, a thoroughly recycled fridge, traffic cones, shoes and other jetsam were all incorporated.



















Constance installed one large sculpture, titled Always One Shoe, Never Two  in an empty advertising frame along Hwy 62 - a hint at the work to come. She also participated in the Artist's Tea held weekly in Joshua Tree National Park. Constance brought Always One Shoe with to the talk and led the group through a weaving exercise. She concluded her residency with a very well attended and received open house featuring the diverse array of work she had created.








Many thanks to Constance for venturing cross country to help clean the desert and make compelling work from her finds.





1 comment:

Constance Old said...

Love the last photo, Bernard. Thanks for the post and the experience overall. Constance