“Up­cy­cling” Art

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Stanstead

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.

Photo courtesy

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