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Endangered: Our Oceans

The continuing tragedy of the pollution and destruction of our oceans is being ignored by much of the world’s population – particularly in the United States.

It is an ongoing concern of many of our LandfillArt artists and they are bringing attention to the unfolding tragedy through their art by creating moving images using recycled materials.  Here are the statements of six of these artists.

 

Untitled, by Alek Krylow, Denmark

Krylow_Alek-500In a world where it is easier to throw away than repair it is refreshing to take part in an enterprise where the idea is to reuse a discarded item as a painting canvas instead of allowing it to pollute the environment. “ Alek Krylow

Alek Krylow grew up in England, in a Polish family. He has been drawing since childhood. Alek was educated as a biologist in England. On moving to Denmark in 1980, he began illustrating biology books, later began teaching watercolor painting. In the last 25 years, Alex has taught watercolor and drawing techniques and has produced 18 watercolor teaching videos in Danish. He has recently published a book on watercolor techniques.

Mercury Man, by Dick Dahl

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Dirk is a self-taught artist from Washington state. He has been creating art in various forms throughout his life, exploring different mediums and techniques. Dirk works in ceramics creating and teaching the making of Face Jugs in his studio in North Seattle.

After my family and I were watching a documentary on islands of floating trash in the open sea… This project came to my attention and I was instantly compelled to connect with my roots, creating beauty or art out of discarded items. ”

Jelly Fish, by Virginia Mallon

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Jelly Fish, by Virginia Mallon

 

Virginia’s home town of Crab Meadow, which is located on the Northshore of Long Island was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which inspired her to launch two projects, the first project, “Washed in on the Salt” is about catastrophic weather related events. The second project titled, “Out is a Place” comments on what is taken away, as well as on what is discarded, thrown out, tossed aside without the conscious awareness that out is a place. These projects resulted in a collection of lost and found items that represent the precarious balance between man and his environment, and the lack of value placed on disposable possessions.

I am a painter, photographer and blogger with a focus on both human and environmental subjects. In my work I hope to illustrate the juxtaposition man and nature while paralleling the strengths and vulnerabilities of each.” Virginia Mallon

Virginia was educated at Forest Park School of Art, Woodhaven, New York- with Indian Space artist Robert Barrell Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing New York. Her work has been shown in many solo, group and juried exhibitions throughout the East Coast and Italy.

 

Portal to the Sea, by Becky Luth 

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British Columbia, Canada

I love being in the ocean and value any efforts to keep it clean, so we can continue to enjoy its magic!” Becky Luth

Most of Becky’s art is related to the ocean and has been inspired by her travels and experiences surfing, diving, snorkeling and exploring the beaches and tide pools. Her latest focus has been surf art which is her expression of thankfulness to our creator who designed the waves and gave us the ability to ride them for our enjoyment!

Her website is at: www.bekisart.com

 

Metal Hubcap Fish, by Ptolemy Elrington,

Brighton, UK

ElringtonPtolemy-500“Ken Marques’ project looks like a very positive approach to encourage ethical awareness through art and recycling. These are strongly relevant values in the nature of my work and I not only think it’s appropriate for my work to be included, it’s an honor to be a small part of this.” Ptolemy Elrington

Ptolemy, from Brighton, in the UK, has been a professional sculptor for 10 years. He works in recycled materials with regenerative eco aware theme inherent in his work. His work has been shown in numerous venues in London and the surrounding area, as well as Ireland and Greece.

His website is at: www.hubcapcreatures.com

 

The Salmon Of Knowledge, by Orla Hilton

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Limerick, Ireland

“I like the idea of making art from objects that are found. Especially when they are objects that had a previous life and use.” Orla Hilton

Orla was born and raised in Limerick, on the river Shannon. She loved to watch as her dad used to row down it when she was a child, and loved to watch the fishermen and women standing on the bridge watching and waiting.

www.orlahilton.com

 

 

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Emerging Green Man by Janice Blaine, Canada

The Green Man

One of the intriguing arworks created for the LandfillArt Collection is the work by Janice Blaine, of Calgary, Canada, of the Emerging Green Man.

 

When I was asked to participate in this project, I saw it as a unique opportunity to explore a new medium, acrylic on metal. I work primarily in watercolour, so I loved the challenge. As an environmentalist, I also loved the idea of turning ‘trash’ into works of art. I’m thrilled to be a part of a green movement that is beautiful, educational, and productive! The theme of the project also gave me another chance to paint one of my favorite subjects…The Green Man

Throughout her career, Janice has worked on a wide variety of projects that have ranged from pre-production animation to design and illustration of children’s books. She is co-editor and illustrator of the Urban Green Man anthology, and her illustrations have appeared on the covers of numerous books and magazines. She currently works as the Production Manager of EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.

Source of the Image of the Green Man

As Janice Blaine mentioned in her statement, the subject of the Green Man is her favorite !  But what is the source for the use of the Green Man?  This is difficult to trace because while it seems to be a concept that has existed since antiquity, it’s impossible to pin down a specific source or culture.

In general, a Green Man is any kind of a carving, drawing, painting or representation which shows a head or face surrounded by, or made from, leaves. The face is almost always male, although a few Green Women do exist.

But, in that general description, there are a surprising number of  variations, and there do not appear to be standard representations of a Green Man, and there are even examples of two-headed and even three-headed, Green Men.

Most Green Men can be seen in stone and wood carvings in Christian churches – a vast majority in Britain, France and Germany – and main date from the medieval period from the 11th to 16th Century.

These can range from very simple and basic carvings in a folk art tradition, to sophisticated and expressive sculptures in the best church ornamentation. Some of the faces have welcoming and reassuring expressions; others are ferocious, at times even threatening. And some appear barely human – looking more like demons or beasts.

You can see this huge variety if you do a search on Google and look at the images that come up.

Common Interpretation

The most common interpretation for the Green Man is that of a pagan nature spirit, a symbol of man’s reliance on and union with nature, a symbol of the underlying life-force, and of the renewed cycle of growth each spring. With this view it is probable that the tradition came from older nature deities such as the Celtic Cernunnos and the Greek Pan and Dionysus.

However, the first use of the term “Green Man” only dates back to 1939, when it was used by Lady Raglan (wife of the scholar and soldier Major Fitzroy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan) in her article “The Green Man in Church Architecture”, published in the Folklore journal of March 1939. This article established the Green Man as a legitimate subject for historical and anthropological study, and established the term “Green Man” as the preferred label.

A common link in nearly all of the legends and myths which have been suggested is that of metamorphosis and transformation.  That fits in perfectly with Blaine’s use of the Green Man as a subject for her recycled and transformed art work!

The Green Man expert Kathleen Basford has stated:   “It can be difficult to distinguish between what is a purely decorative association and what may be a significant association of ideas.”  So as at its heart, the Green Man remains, and will always remain, a mystery.

published_urbangreenmanOne especially intriguing theory for the meaning of the Green Man is that the image appears in cycles related to times of crisis or significant change.  That certainly fits our world today and the subject’s modern popularity may have been triggered by our current environmental crisis.

The Green Man can be seen as an archetype of the “conservator”, whose mission is to counsel us to take from the environment only what we need to survive and to conserve the rest, and to remind us of our responsibilities for caring for the natural world.

In recent years, the environmental and Green movement and various other campaigns and commercial organizations have been using the image of the Green Man as a marketing tool, and he has become a symbol for the environment.

A fascinating website that further discusses the possible sources and interpretations, can be found at:   http://www.greenmanenigma.com/theories.html

Janice Blaine’s illustrations for the book The Urban Green Man, can be seen on her website at:
http://www.paintersblock.com/urban-green-man_illustration.html

 

 

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Two Artists from Malaysia

The artists that have contributed to the Landfillart Collection come from every one of the 50 states in the US and  52 countries. For this article we selected two artists from Malaysia, and give a little information on the environmental challenges in that beautiful country.

Malaysia ranks as the 21st most bio-diverse country in the world, with 2,199 endemic species. 18% of these species are listed as ‘threatened’, and because they are endemic, if Malaysia fails to conserve them, extinction will result.

 

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Green, by Ching Teoh

 

“I painted the hubcap green with a flowery pattern to signify rebirth… today it celebrates its new life as a decoration piece on the wall!”
Ching Teoh

Ching, born in Penang in 1971, is a self-taught painter with a master’s degree in applied science. Painting with vibrant colors has always been her hobby, inspired by growing up in a multi-cultural environment where traditional art and customs have been embraced. By the year 2000, Ching and her husband, Khoo started ArtBug, an interior decorative art company. She is currently a full time painter, accepting commissions.

 

Deforestation is Major Environmental Concern in Malaysia

One of Malaysia’s main environmental challenges is deforestation. Much of the country’s economic growth can be attributed to its forest industry, but this has created the problems of deforestation. Between 1990 and 2010 Malaysia lost 8.6% of its forest cover, or around 1,920,000 hectares. There is still a relatively high forest coverage with estimates of 59.9% of the total area covered by forests — a sizeable portion of this is untouched virgin forests which date back to around 130 million years.

But a major problem created by the deforestation has been the elimination of habitat of many of the endemic species.  At east a fifth of Malaysia’s mammal species, including the Sumatran serow,  Sumatran rhino, dugong and the Malayan tiger, face extinction, with many numbering only in the hundreds.
Data from the World Bank showed that 70 of Malaysia’s 336 mammal species were threatened as of 2014, the seventh highest in the world in this category.   Birds, fish and plants are also at risk.  Malaysia’s population of Sumatran rhino, for example, has been almost completely wiped out mainly because of the monetary value of its horn.

Another problem created by deforestation has been that the traditional ways of life of the indigenous peoples in Malaysia are being destroyed because they depend on the rainforest for medicine, shelter, food, and other necessities. As the forest disappears, so does their culture.

The Malaysian Nature Society is active in advocating protection of forest and The Forest Research Institute of Malaysia has also been actively conducting research on the biodiversity of Malaysia’s forests as well as in conservation.

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Two in One

by Chew Fang Chin
Sarawak, Malaysia

“This is a challenge for me as an artist to transform a rusted metal into an art creation. This is also my support to this meaningful and creative recycle project from Kuching in Malaysia.”   Chew Fang Chin

 

Chew Fang Chin is a professional artist who has had more than 28 solo Art Exhibitions in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Australia, Taiwan, US and other countries.   His website is at:  www.fangchin.com

In his art, by combining a mixture of watercolor and Chinese ink, he is able to give a deeper insight into the Sarawak indigenous people.

Sarawak is Malaysia’s largest state. Its natural beauty is rich in flora and fauna — many threatened as noted above — and many designs in the arts and crafts are based on age-old legends. Located in the northwestern part of Borneo – known as the land of the Hornbills – it is a place of natural splendor, history, and mystery and is home to numerous indigenous cultures. Sarawak is well known for it’s ethnic diversity and the cultured lifestyle of its people – Sarawak has 27 ethnic groups, 45 languages and dialects who live together in peace and harmony.

The Sarawak Tourism Ministry selected Chin’s “Ethnic Impression” Series for its 1993 and 1994 tourism calendars.

The Ibans – Sarawak’s largest ethnic group – live in longhouses. Known for its warriors, they were one feared headhunters of Borneo. The women are among the finest weavers of Borneo and the “Pau Kumbu” is their masterpiece. The Malays are another major ethnic group and are known for their beautifully crafted wooden houses, and the “kain songkat” and “selayah keringkam” (textiles worked with gold and silver thread). The Bidayuh also live in longhouses, and are known for the “kesah” mats – stoutly woven from rattan and beaten tree bark to produce a hardy floor covering.

The Orang Ulu are the most artistically oriented of Borneo’s ethic people. Their massive longhouses are decorated with murals, their utensils are embellished with intricate beadwork, and the women cover their hands, arms, legs and feet with finely detailed tattoos.

 

chew-fang-chin-1nChew was the country’s first artist to exhibit in Qingdao Museum and Jinan Hall, China. Chew is also the first Malaysian artist to exhibit his artwork in the Academia SINICA Taiwan, R.O.C.

Chew’s paintings are in collections of art galleries and museums around the world in Malaysia, Australia, China, Singapore and Taiwan, as well as private collections in the United States, Europe and Asia.

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The World on a Turtle’s Back

The LandfillArt Collections features over 1000 artworks created from recycled hubcaps. The round shape of the hubcap lends itself readily to themes that encompass the eye, the sun, the wheel of fortune, etc, and the wealth of ideas and interpretations range from pleas for recycling, documentation of myths, personal interests, environmental issues, and many other ideas.  However an interesting correlation with the turtle shell prompted several artists to create artworks the reflect on the myths and themes of the turtle.

Here are four artists that used the turtle as their subject for their hubcaps

Turtle Song   by Linda Windell

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Ecology and the environment are inherent to American Indian culture. As an Indian artist I am so pleased to be part of this unique endeavor send a message of reclamation to the world.”

From Greensboro, Georgia, Linda is a self-taught Native American artist of Creek/Cherokee decent. Her work has garnered two national awards, four Native American Corps, and was selected for the cover of the Wisconsin Paint Horse Journal. Linda has loyal collectors throughout North and South America, Canada, Europe and Asia.  You can find more examples of her work on her website at : www.mstarstudio.com

 

Once Upon A Turtles Back…  by Jeb Prazak

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I love a challenge and taking some ‘thing’ that was essentially nothing and turning it into something meaningful was just that.”

Working now in Dodgeville, Wsconsin, Jeb holds a BA from Gulf Park College in Gulfport, Mississippi and a BFA from Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida. She is founder of Metropolitan Art, renovating a garage into a gallery. She currently works and teaches out of her studio and gallery, Jeb Art.  Her website is at: www.jebprazak.com

 

Turtle by Mark Needham

NeedhamMark-500To raise awareness of the long-lasting impact of landfills it seemed appropriate to utilize the imagery of longevity embodied in the turtle… What goes to a landfill stays there for a very long time-sometimes passively sometimes menacingly. Smarter manufacturing and consuming is vital to our long term economic and physical survival…“

Louisville, Kentucky.   Mark received a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from The School of Architecture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee. He is experienced in a wide variety of media, and his work has been shown extensively in the United States and is collected publicly and privately. Mark has been published in several publications and has received over forty awards for design excellence in regional, national, and international competitions. He is also past President and Secretary of the Louisville Graphic Design Association.  His website is at: www.markneedhamjewelry.com

 

Spirit Turtle by Libby Maynard

Maynard-Libby-500x500I have long thought that the next big resource extraction boom would be in landfills and have consciously worked to keep stuff out of landfills since the 1970’s, so being part of a project to create art using materials rescued from landfills was an exciting prospect. I found that during the creation process, I started looking around with newly focused eyes at consumption and what I could do to help promote recycling and minimize consumption. The Eureaka (CA) Art & Culture Commission is now in the process of selecting artists to place art on the City’s recycling bins to encourage public awareness. For my art piece, I chose the turtle spirit to inhabit the hubcap as symbolic of earth and grounding. It is only loosely tied to the hubcap so as not to be permanently tied to human waste.”

Eureka, California.  Libby is the Executive Director of the Ink People Center for the Arts and co-founder of the organization. As well as a professional artist, she has over 35 years of nonprofit administration experience, and is a consultant in nonprofit management and program development.  She received her BA, K-2 Teaching Credential, and MA in art from Humbolt State University, Arcata, California. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout California, and is in collections across the nation.  The Ink People’s DreamMaker program has fostered over 200 community-initiated projects in the past 34 years and currently manages over 75 project     Her website is at: www.mstarstudio.com

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A Dangerous Game

Today, you cannot help but be moved and affected by the shocking tragedies that have been appearing daily in the news.  The earthquake and environmental catastrophes, along with the continuing human tragedies coming from the Middle East and Africa have reached staggering proportions.

As we have been selecting some of the recycled hubcap artworks from the Landfillart Collection for the upcoming series of exhibitions, certain ones have been especially thought-provoking.

The artists that have contributed to this collection come from every one of the 50 states in the US and  nearly 50 countries.

This extraordinary artwork created by Aida Vosoughi from Iran is especially perceptive and profound

You Were Born & Stuck In The Middle Of A Dangerous Game…Yes! It’s Just A Game! But We Are Sorry To Inform You…You Are The Only Real Object There!!

“I am always dealing VosoughiAida-500with environmental issues and worry about the future of our polluted planet; because we have just one Earth and it is the trust of future generations.

I have a sense of duty to do something for it and the Landfillart Project is a gate to respect it. I am also dealing with events that these days happened in my hometown and as an artist think to the ways I can reflect it to the international audiences and again Landfillart is a true way.  Aida Vosoughi

Aida was born in 1982 in Tehran, Iran. She received a Diploma in fine art in 2001, and a BA in painting in 2005.  She participated in 11 group exhibitions from 1997-2008 in galleries in Tehran, and is a Member of SIP  (The Society of Iranian Painters) cooperating in theater (custom & scene designer).      She has also done research on contemporary art since 2007.

Another one of Aida’s beautiful artworks, The Game! can be seen at:
http://www.saatchiart.com/art/-The-Game/76169/567130/view

“I am interested in comparing my personal ideas with social examples to find similarity and/or differences. Since our individual mentality and manner in life is a sample of the big society we live in, huge paradoxes in our minds represent huge paradoxes in real world.  So I am trying to create individual icons to express them as much as I can,also the materials and visual elements that I am using depend on my subject of interest and with them I try to achieve the best way possible to explain my vision and thoughts.”

Her hubcap artwork will be included in the upcoming international exhibition of about 150 of the artworks from the LandfillArt Collection that will tour in Europe and Asia during 2016 – 2018