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Recycled 2012 at Hastings Arts Forum

The designer Issey Miyake once said: “The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it’s reuse.” Cathy Simpson explores Recycled 2012 at Hastings Arts Forum.

This exhibition is a really powerful reminder of that!  It’s a rich collection of artworks all fashioned from found images or objects; beautiful, witty – and often both.  The featured artists include Serena Thirkell, Peter Edwards , Peter Quinnell, Ruth Wurzberger, Laurence Gill, Danny Mooney, Tricia Neve, Tim Riddihough, Lynne Bingham, Maika Crampton, and also pieces from Stuart Walton’s Hastings & Bexhill Wood Recycling Project.

Visitors to the Private view were greeted by a wonderful creation by Maika Crampton, modeled by Maressa Bossano.  Maika enthused about her love of illustration, and how her pieces have taken this artform into another dimension.  They really are the equal of any picture gracing a book of fairy tales; her masterpiece in the show is her wedding dress, exquisitely crafted from paper, totally eco-friendly and actually a thought-provokingly good idea.
Stewart Walton’s H&BWRP takes a totally different approach.  Their remit is to stop wood going into landfill – and when you see the lovingly handcrafted work here, you’re very glad they did!  Their samples range from homes for birds, to birds, to home essentials – always celebrating the previous lives of their materials – texture and colour come together with fine craftsmanship to create these unique pieces:

Wood takes on a different identity in the work of John Turner, but it’s still there to be loved and lived with; they’re fashioned from groynes and sculpted by the waves before their forms are selected and perfected by John.

There’s plenty here to make you smile, too… Serena Thirkell and Max Lane both explore additions to the known animal kingdom, where found objects in metal combine to create new species.  You really need to come and see these fantastical creations for yourself, but Serena’s ‘Dachshund’ gives you a taste – just one of a menagerie where they won’t upset you with noise or fleas, and they definitely won’t be messing on your rugs!


Another creation which looks as though it should be animate is Tim Riddihough’s ‘Trike’: Though most of Tim’s works here are his beautiful assemblages, a witty exploration of colour and texture, reminiscent of the work of Kurt Schwitters, and just as intimate and charming.

3D collage is also represented in the work  of Ruth Wurzburger, where abstract painting seems to have come to life and invaded the world of the viewer with its vibrant colours and strong, simple forms.

This one, ‘City’, bridges the gap between painting, sculpture and bas-relief to create a striking piece:

Penny Hobson has created assemblages of found objects, too, recalling Tony Cragg but ranging from the small, hold-in-the-hand delightful to the large, striking statement piece on the right:

No exhibition of this kind could be complete without Peter Quinnell!  His prolific output is well represented here, and his toy aeroplanes feature in several pieces, from ‘Planes over America’ to ‘Larger British Moths’, but his recycling also takes the form of reused images – in a way that was certainly not intended by the original artist!  Here’s a case in point, entitled ‘Drawing’:

His work is as funny as that of any cartoonist, but anything and everything will be called into service to create something totally unique.

The, er, cyclical nature of recycling is explored in Peter Edwards’ work. Found objects, everyday objects are brought together to create a work of art which is nevertheless functional – and has therefore come full circle to become an everyday object again.  Here’s just one example from a more extensive collection, but he uses some really surprising materials to create some amazing work!

All this is only scratching the surface, though, of a really exciting ‘family show’.  There’s something here for everyone, from children, through to art lovers, to people who want something functional yet unique for the home.  I haven’t put in some of the best bits – because you really need to come along and have a look for yourselves.

You won’t be disappointed!

All pictures courtesy of  Steve Stanton, Hastings Arts Forum – with thanks!

Hastings Arts Forum
36 Marina  St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex TN38 0BU
01424 201636

More information at the Hastings Arts Forum website.
Opening Times: Daily, 11am–5pm
Exhibition runs until Wednesday 29 Feb 2012

Posted 16:16 Friday, Feb 24, 2012 In: Arts News

Also in: Arts News

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