Junk A New Look at You

The Artist is a recorder of the times we live in. You can pick up a book or look at the art from a certain period and know exactly what the people and events of that time were like.

Today’s art no doubt addresses the issues surrounding man and his environment. As an artist I have had the opportunity to add my voice to this dialogue in two recent exhibitions, NE5 – The Carbon Footprint (see Non-Biodegradable Blog post) and more recently “WASTE” held at Doongalik Art Gallery in Nassau in April and May 2011.

The challenge was to create fine art out of discarded materials, whether organic or manmade. 20 artists participated and the art created was amazing; from a bug collection made out of discarded pieces from electronic devices, to a rubber plant made out of cut up rubber tires, to a shrine made out of louvered doors, royal palm and foil, to beautiful sculptures made from cut down trees, to a larger than life size man playing a guitar made entirely out of waste fibers from coconut trees and the list goes on and on. As the saying goes “one’s man garbage is another man’s gold.”

When faced with this challenge my voice as a woman artist was loud and strong. I created a piece made out of discarded cosmetics and broken mirror and called it Junk A New Look at You. I was of course making a statement on the emphasis of external beauty in our society. The piece also references a Bahamian cultural festival called Junkanoo where participants wear costumes, masks and headdresses. An interesting tie in is that in the beginning, Junkanoo costumes were made from discarded products such as newspaper and that even though today the costumes have become quite elaborate and expensive, many of them get discarded and become waste themselves.

In my artist statement I ended with a poem on True Beauty:

Nature holds true beauty,
Her mirror is perfection.
You’ll find it there undoubtedly,
In your own reflection.

Let’s consider this - Perhaps the way we treat nature is a reflection of the way we treat one another… could the golden rule possibly apply….?

Let’s treat nature the way we’d like nature to treat us and let’s see what happens.

Click on any image below to open it in a slideshow.

Claudette Dean