Unused and unwanted goods find home
If it is possible to turn hundreds of ordinary plastic picnic sets found in opportunity shops into art then Judy Darragh has done it.
From tonight the Grey Lynn resident’s latest creation called Astral Picnic is going on show at the Manukau Institute of Technology’s Grounded Festival of sustainable arts.
Many of her previous works are also made from unused and unwanted items she finds in charity stores.
Creations from her early career in the 1980s including Birth of Barbie – a kind of shrine centred around a Barbie doll surrounded by plastic flowers and Christmas lights – earned her the monica the Queen of Kitsch.
Kitsch describes art considered gawdy.
More recently Ms Darragh turned hordes of second hand stainless steel kitchen equipment into engine looking sculptures inspired by a classic car show.
‘‘A lot of my materials come from somewhere other than the source. It’s more surprising to find something than to go and make something new.
‘‘I do think we should be reusing more and more. We’ve got enough stuff, let’s just use all of it up,’’ she says.
Astral Picnic is series of stacked plastic ware and shares this sentiment.
This is the first year the Grounded Festival of sustainable arts has been held by MIT.
Ms Darragh was a lecturer at the institute when it first opened its school of visual arts.
Her work is to be part of a sculpture walk in Otara Creek Reserve.
She is looking forward to it being displayed in the park.
‘‘I always thought it was so beautiful. When you looked out the top floor window [of the school building] it was this beautiful uninterrupted green mat with the motorway roaring around it,’’ she says.
The opening of the sculpture walk is tonight at 6pm and it will be open tomorrow from 10am till 5pm. Other festival events include printmaking, drawing, creative writing and gardening workshops, performances and a craft market.
Creative conscience: Artist Judy Darragh with a painting she created out of an old movie poster. She is displaying sculptures at MIT’s Grounded Festival of sustainable arts.