What is Upcycling?
According to Wikipedia, Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.
People have been doing this for a very long time, but more recently it has received renewed levels of interest and has resulted in some incredible creativity and works of art.
In the 1930-40’s upcycling was driven by an economic need (Depression/war) and people got very creative, turning old items into new ones thereby extending the life of the product and saving money. A flour/feed sack became a dress, an old door became a new dining table and tyres turned into buckets. You may have upcycled something and not even been aware of it, like turning an old pan into a plant pot.
Today there is still an economical motive but increasingly there is an environmental one. When items that are destined for landfill get a new lease on life we are reducing waste to landfill and using less of our precious resources (i.e by not buying something new).
Then there is the aesthetics of upcycling. the possibilities are endless. Upcycling has become ‘trendy’ and is becoming big business in the arts.
My sister, who is my absolutely favourite artist in the world, incorporates upcycling in most of her work. her latest creation will be shown in an Art Gallery in Tel Aviv.
‘The Light Boxes’
Michal has created a series of light boxes where a backlight illuminates paper clippings that are carefully layered inside the box. She has created a fantastical story of imaginary and dark images. The boxes themselves were built by using old picture frames and discarded bits of wood she found in my Dad’s shed. Legs for the boxes are old dining table legs and bits of old music stands.
I am very inspired to get stuck in to creating my own upcycled stuff although I gravitate towards the practical side so I think mine would be things that I will use around the house. I have a wooden picture frame that I will cover with chicken wire and hang stuff on and I have an old wooden ladder that I want to turn into a shelf unit..
For more information on Michal’s work visit: michalgoldberg.weebly.com