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Welcome to Wasteland


image source: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/program/welcome-to-wasteland/


Went to the launch of Welcome to Wasteland, an exhibition held at Besser Space Collingwood as part of NGV's Design Week. Lots of innovative ways to utilise waste products as utilitarian objects were presented, my favourite being a chair made out of denim pulp and biodegradable glue (image below).



Bellbottom Lounger by Danny Ngo & Adam Goodrum


I'm rethinking my relationship to the materials I create with. The commodification of art is a challenge to me; why create in a world that is over-saturated with "stuff"? There are many compelling reasons, but some feel more like a justification and I need to assess this as part of my practice.


I am exploring the concept of "rethinking abundance", how shifting my perspective about my relationship to "stuff" (or all material things, including natural resources) might be beneficial to both myself, the communities I am connected to and the environment in general. For example, I have been putting off purchasing more plywood to commence another series of large paintings. It would be ideal to source these from the waste stream and this is entirely possible but requires time, patience and good luck.


We walked out of the exhibition, which was busy with people spilling out onto the street, and a dumpster in front of the building site directly opposite caught my eye. There were my plywood boards! They are imperfect, a bit battered, scuffed and warped. But their history is valuable to me, our narratives interconnected. We are in a construction boom that is declining, it is not a given that I will find such treasures so easily in the future.