YeOlde Blacksmith Art Gallery will be launching the second exhibition of the season with work by the infamous Gypsy Art creators Brigitte Mittelhammer and Lizabeth Laroche entitled, “Scrapola”, running July 11-28. The gallery will be filled with their distinctly unique and imaginative creations: items deemed unusable that have evolved into objects of newfound beauty.
There’s a story behind each piece that lets us in to the magic behind the transformation. Inspired by the green movement “upcycling”, Lizabeth and Brigitte explain “one man’s junk is another woman’s treasure! What makes most people cringe makes us want to give it a new lease on life before it makes its final trip to the scrap yard. Upcycling junk is also our way of making this planet more beautiful.”
Both arrived from Montreal about five years ago and live here full time. Asked how she finds living in the Stanstead area, Brigitte responded “It changed my life. The area is so vibrant, its nature and it’s the people. I’ve learned so much about life and fundamental things that are really important. I’ve met wonderful creative self-sustaining people that live in harmony with the earth.”
You can see their artistic flair whichever way you turn in the heart of Stanstead. Lizabeth was the designer for the renovations at the Vieille Douane restaurant and Café/Bar Sans Frontiere and their positive energy rubs off. People have ideas to do things and then things happen. They are very inspired by the vision of Gabriel Safdie and Eva Juul and the efforts by so many people in the growth of the Heart of Stanstead Project.
“Villages were at one time very dependent on industry. Now villages have to reinvent themselves to stay vibrant. When you create something new, something else happens. Every time you inject magic and creativity, more magic and creativity happens and it builds slowly. You’ve focused on one project and whoops, another one happens, people are inspired, and more people get inspired” says Brigitte.
For Lili and Brigitte, it really depends on how you look at things – if you see the potential, it’s reflected back to you. If you have the faith to revive and revitalize, it will happen.
“Some people would look at a broken lamp and see garbage. We see all the potential – we say we can create something. We take the piece and just sit with it and it just happens, we don’t plan. It’s the cycle of life – all these pieces coming together and creating something new. People need to believe in themselves and believe that they can create whatever they want.”
“Scrapola” starts Thursday July 11 with a vernissage on Saturday, July 13, from 5 to 7. All are warmly welcome!
Gallery hours are Thursday to Sunday, 11-6 pm. Stanstead.