Natasha Emeck | On 08, Jul 2015
Winners of the Recycling Art Competition, held by the Brisbane City Council, for the past two years running are holding a unique exhibition.
A Steampunk assemblage art exhibition by artists Bec Peart and Martin Pedder of â€˜Blackbirdâ€™s Emporiumâ€™, plus special guest artist Gill Pyke of â€˜Catamationâ€™ is being held in Brisbane this month.
Titled â€˜Kindred Spiritsâ€™, the name of the exhibit relates to the combination of like minds and passions of the three artists featured in this exhibition, but it also refers to the â€˜heart and soulâ€™ of many of the artworks.
As the pieces have developed from mostly recycled items, many have stories behind the parts that created them, and the sum of these parts creates a new story, or a â€˜newâ€™ life of its own.
Long time friends, Bec and Martin who have collaborated creatively for over two decades, took some time to sit down with The Creative Issue and answer a few questions about their creative process.
TCI: What inspired you to start reusing unwanted items to make art?
B&M:Â We a both born scroungers and hoarders! The idea of using old and discarded items, is like the draw of moths to a flame. We were also inspired by the ingenuity of each our grandparents who lived through very lean times, and used whatever they had on hand to fix or make what the needed. We feel that our modern society is always in too much of a rush for the next big thing, and forgets to stop and appreciate what they have.
TCI: What themes do you like to explore in your art?
B&M: The themes in our artwork, come from the ‘junk’ itself. If these pieces could talk, what stories would they have to tell? Who did they belong to, and where have they been? So the themes are quite reflective, but not in deep and overly intense way, but more of a daydreamer lost in a pleasant memory.
TCI: Where do you get your materials from and how long does it usually take to finish a piece?
B&M: An ideal day for us is spending hours digging through tip shops, flea markets, op shops, antique shops, but usually the junkier the better. Also, because everyone knows we love boxes of old treasures, people clean out sheds and cupboards, and donate stuff to us. (Better than Christmas presents!!) The best part about this is the person gets to see what we made from their donations, and they get a thrill out of it too.Â The time it takes to finish a piece can be weeks, or months and months, as it all hinges on finding the right pieces. Sometimes you just have to be patient.Â We did calculate the hours spent on ‘Junkalina’ and it was approx 300 hrs, working together.
Gill has combined her fascination for Victorian era botanical prints, and turn of the century patent blueprints, to create a Steampunk fusion of organic meets mechanical, in 2D and 3D artworks.
What: Kindred Spirits Exhibition
When: July 7-31, Opening event Saturday July 11, 3:00pm-6:00pm
Where: st + baker + studio, Mon Komo Hotel, 99 Marine Parade, Redcliffe, Queensland