From Trashes to Gold - Recycled Sculptures

Have you heard about Renaissance of Peace Angel, Seven wasted Men, Spoons or Forgotten Giants?? Nah?? No, no these are not Hollywood movie names. These are sculptures. Don’t get mistaken, these are not wooden or rock sculptures, these are sculptures made out of trashes. Shocked?? Don’t get shocked. These sculptures are commonly called ‘Recycled Sculptures’.  So people don’t underestimate the power of trashes!!

Recycled art is like alchemy which turns base metal into gold, except that it turns trashes into gold. It is not only something entertains you or artist makes for living, the true beauty of recycled art, showing us that with belief and passion even abandoned item can become one of the most beautiful arts in the world. There are some artists   

around us who made wonderful sculptures out of trashes. Take a look at some of them.

No one wants their children to grow up in a world plagued by violence, but not many parents have worked as hard to fight the problem as artist Lin EvolaSmidt. When gun violence ravaged Los Angeles in the early nineties, Lin decided to help stop the problem by convincing residents to give up their guns, which would then be melted down to create statues of angels an appropriately uplifting icon for those living in the increasingly dangerous city of Angels. “I wanted more at that moment than to just create a piece of art”, she says. “I wanted people to make a shift within them”.

The project was a success and within few years, the area was filled

with small metal angels- each reflecting more guns being taken off the city streets. The first angel were up  to three feet tall and took a few months of work, but eventually, EvolaSmidt decided to increase the size of the sculptures so they could  be centerpieces of local parks. In 1997, she completed a 13 foot tall angel called “The Renaissance Peace Angel”. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, the sculpture was moved to ground Zero and it has since become her most famous art work.

Since 1997, Michelle Reader has been working to make recycled materials into sculptures, often incorporating mechanical elements such as the working parts of toys and clocks. Her materials come from city dumps, roadsides and thrift shops 

and include both household and industrial waste. “I love the unpredictability of found materials and enjoy the inventiveness  necessary to transform them into a sculpture” she says. “I try whenever possible to use materials that are reclaimed, things with a history that have been discarded and might otherwise end up in landfill”.

Perhaps the most famous work is the family portrait, known as “Seven Wasted Men”, that was made from one month of household waste from the family. “The materials not only highlight a need to address the amount of waste each produces, but also tells the story of each individual through the things they discard- a child’s drawings, a shopping list, a birthday card” she says.

Aurora Robson estimates that so far, she has salvaged about 30,000 plastic bottles preventing them from entering our landfills, oceans and the costly recycling system. With this seemingly cold and unyielding material, Robson masterfully creates sweeping organic sculptures and installations that hint at sea life and space. In addition to her three dimensional works, she also works in collage, using her own junk mail as her medium.

Nearly 10,000 plastic spoons and a third as many rubber bands went into Jell Townsley’s  “Spoons”. Where normally a disposable spoon is only eaten with once before being discarded, her massive pyramid will last to demonstrate the sheer volume of what to the entire world may seem like only a small amount of waste.Danish artist Thomas Dambo is like a folk art Michelangelo of scrap materials.

And he is always thinking outside of the box. His large scale projects go beyond making something to look at; they have interactive qualities that invite the viewer to be participant as well. For eg, his utterly awesome recycled holiday village in the middle of Copenhagen which invited shoppers to come in and make DIY (Do It yourself) gifts from recycled things, all for free.

Sleeping Louis, Oscar under the Tree, Teddy Friendly, Thomas on the Mountain is some of his creations.

Don’t think that these products don’t have any value. People buy these products by paying huge amounts. See how a trash has turned out into a highly priced material. 

They are some among those people who could create a highly valuable material out of a trash. There are lots of people like them.  These kinds of people might be present in our friend’s circle too. They are an inspiration. While we all are constantly complaining about waste disposal and trying to find a chance to dump our household waste into someone else’s property, they are showing us how to use these trashes. They are the real heroes, since they have proved that everything is valuable!!                                    Sarika


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