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:















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


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


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


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:

“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


Found Objects and Landfillart

Using found objects to create works of art is part of a fascinating tradition in modern art.  (See our article on using found objects in recycling here)

Originally coming from the French term objet trouvé, a found object describes art created from undisguised, but often modified, objects or products, not normally considered art.

It is generally accepted that Marcel Duchamp perfected the concept when he made a series of ready-mades — completely unaltered everyday objects selected by him and designated as art.

A large number of artists in the Landfillart project have incorporated found objects to make statements about re-cycling.  Some of the especially interesting examples in the Landfillart Collection include:

Wheels of Change

by Lisa J Levasseur


I think there is so much value often lost between the generations that art can play an important role in communication of these things. I am moved by the actions, history and events that shape mankind. My inspiration can come from the simplest of things, like the craftsmanship of a discarded old hubcap. I created Palette Art because I couldn’t bear to throw away the dried up paint on my palettes and found a way to turn it into art instead. I’m honored to participate in a project with such tremendous social value.” Lisa J Levasseur

Valmont, British Columbia.  Lisa has quickly emerged as an artist in less than two years with no formal art education or background painting. She is known for her incredible range of work and raw natural talent with different mediums. Featured in exhibitions in New York and Palm Desert as the creator of an innovative technique using 100% acrylic paint and unique type of abstract work called Palette Art.

Her website is at www.paletteart.org


Shiny But Cracked Landscape

by David Benforado

BenforadoDavid-500I like the idea of working with discarded materials. It was a challenge to work on a restricted size and surface such as the hubcap. My concept was to come up with a theme which reflects our impact on nature. The car industry and the carbon emissions greatly add to the pollution of the environment. In addition, I am very pleased to take part on this global initiative of collecting metal canvasses and doing something creative with them.” David Benforado

Syros, Greece.  David studied painting at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, received a BFA from Brandeis University, and had an internship at the Guggenheim Museum, Venice. He is an internationally exhibiting artist who has had several solo and group exhibitions and publications.

His website is at www.davidbenforado.com

No Bees – No Humans

Erika Wain

WainErika-500The purpose [of this piece] is to bring home an awareness of the fragility of the human’s existence, dependent on a tiny creature that most shun, run away from, swat at, and in general are fearful of – the Bee. She is indeed  a friendly ‘foe’ worthy of adoration and appreciation, for without her, humanity will not survive.” Erika Wain

A Canadian born artist now working in Los Angeles, California, Erica is both an artist on canvas and multimedia artist. She is a graduate of UCLA with a of arts degree. She has traveled Europe, Egypt, Greece and North Africa, setting in California. Erika is also a beekeeper who lost 80% of her bees in 2007 and 50% of her bees in 2008, due to colony collapse disorder, a virus that has spread all over the world. Erika’s art has been exhibited in France, Germany, New York City, Korea, California, Italy, Greece and Japan.

Hopes And Fears

by Dale Copeland


Puniho, New Zealand

The re-use of the discarded is the hub of my assemblage artwork. The French call it ‘bricolage’ – the philosophy of the found. Careful constructions of treasured objects, joy in jetsam, philosophy in flotsam.”    Dale Copeland

Dale is an internationally exhibiting artist. She has worked in collage, jewelry, book-making, photography, fabric art and sculpture, but her favored medium is assemblage, or box art:
 careful constructions of treasured objects. Dale’s work has been published in L’Art du Collage dans tous ses états by Pierre Jean Varet, Editions Artcolle, Paris, and Artist’s Magazine, US.


The Vanity Circle

by Carmel Bonello

BonelloCarmel-500.jpg.pagespeed.ic.H9RPsaG-y4The concept behind creating a work of art about this theme is the use of scrap or refuse material to create the work. I wanted to create something related to Vanity and faces as I had some extra old costume jewelry to give away. I created the faces on the hub cap as I use a lot of faces in my style and combined the hubcap with the jewellery to create this work of art.” Carmel Bonello

Mellieha, Malta.   Carmel was born in Siggiewi in 1960 and studied art at the School of Arts and has a diploma in fine arts. The artist feels his art is inclined in the expressive movements. Carmel tries to experiment in different medias in most of his paintings and drawings. The artist had several solo exhibitions in Malta and abroad. Many of his works are to be found in Malta and different countries around the world especially in France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.