You are an artist and your studio burns down; what do you do?. If you are the Russell West, best known for his work with coloured paint running down urban scenes, into paintpots and even down old boots, you take life in its stride, salvage the old materials from the metal roof and turn it into the cute steel teddy bear ‘Rusty the Bear’, informally called ‘Phoenix’, in a complete change of style
Artists throwing away traditional canvas and imaginatively using a plethora of unusual materials, including screws, syringe needles, scalpel blades, old postcards, vintage toy guns and cars, 45 rpm records, paper and a huge variety of old found materials – even Oxo cubes for the Oxo Tower – are on show at Ffound at the Woolff Gallery. You can just image them rummaging through charity shops or searching on e-bay in their quest for raw materials.
Work on show by 17 artists includes Anthony Moman who uses syringes to create the calm reflective head of a buddha, Love Jordan who takes the Oxo Tower at Bankside on the River Thames a stage further my creating it from Oxo cubes themselves, Natasja van der Meer who creates her three dimensional sculptures with beads and other materials and Jack Tanner continuing his ongoing exploration of three dimensional visual effects using the ubiquitous screw as the raw material.
Nicky Crowther’s ‘Fifty Shades of Summer’ contrasts with her other work using vintage toy cap guns and toy cars, Keith Haynes focusses on maps, linking 45 rpm vinyl records to the titles on the record and also vintage postcards to the place of origin, while Susila Bailey-Bond’s aluminium butterflies flutter around found objects including discarded perfume bottles and vintage radios and Lene Bladjberg makes hard steel scalpel blades take on the characteristic of soft bird-like feathers, Dangerous Minds’ neon silhouette contrasts with the old worn antique sign on which it sits and Joanne Tinker shows her intricate and beautiful displays created from sweet wrappers and champagne bottle tops.
More varied in their choice of found materials and junk, Zac Freeman’s portraits at a distance disguise the material from which they are created, while Onyz has created a framed vision, hinting back to the theatre of the Renaissance, with discarded objects, especially toys, all painted white so that they all blend together into a narrative that, when you look at the detail, is both beautiful and sinister.
A huge variety of work which shows that all you need is creative imagination to take any material and turn it into art.