Now exhibiting in a treasure hunt hosted by the offices of Gensler Design, are excellent examples of how rEusing materials, and rEinventing ideas can build the most beautiful design you have ever seen. In a group show starring six creative, crafty folks, the take-your-breath-away pieces are brought to you by Dale Eastman, Christine Lee and Tim Wells. Each of these artists are rEvealing assumptions, rEmembering what sparks creativity and rEsuming to pick up what our society has dumped off and disregarded as "trash". The theme of this group show, if you haven't figured that part out, is "RE:" Perhaps sparked by the constant, seemingly endless amount of RE:'s in our lives now, but focused in the rEuse of materials and concepts, for the end result of a beautifully shaped, well focused piece of art.
Entering the Gensler Design offices, it is difficult to grasp what is actually on exhibit, as this design team has done well on their work space. However, it is evident that Dale Eastman's Original Tangle is a piece of rEwork. Eastman has used small pieces of cotton gun cleaning patches to sew together a delicate study of the human spirit, in the best way one could do this: in the form of a story. She is Not Dead Yet is a story of a woman and rEinvention plays a key factor, but you should really just read Eastman's finely structured words for yourself in the hand-bound manuscipt she has provided along with the story she has sewn, word for word, on the pieces of cotton. What stuttered my heart is that the pieces of cotton were originally made to clean a weapon of death, and now serve as tools in rEmembering what makes us who we are. Her Tangle is an extremely touching piece to examine and read.
The concept of rEuse is always brought to creative fruition by Christine Lee, and her FoldedCreased Woven Stacked III is no exception. Lee has assembled outdated phone books atop one another, set to steady by steel and finished off with a gorgeous piece of mahogany wood, for a somewhat coffee table feel. The piece is touch worthy as the square she has cut, dead center, into the wood and phone books, looks like it could be velvet coated for your sense of touch pleasure. I'm not sure if this was a design move or simply to show that, yes indeed, Christine Lee has rEused phone books brilliantly and quite fully. The piece is 27" x 43.5" x 40.5" of phone books. Brilliant.
Lee's work is also on exhibit on the third floor offices of Gensler Design, with her Shims, a site-specific installation constructed from cedar wood shims, providing the offices with not only some great smells but an inspiring, detailed marriage of Lee's signature intricacies and rEcycled materials.
Often enough I will pick up pieces of paper provided by you beautiful city dwellers, and your litter habits. I love these found pieces of your stories; grocery lists, personal to-do lists, nasty neighbor notes, etc. They help me feel connected to the other 800,000+ folks co-existing here with me. I thought that this semi-kleptomaniac habit also belonged to Tim Wells, when I saw his framed pieces of what looked like found papers, discarded histories and trampled moleskin pages. My partner in crime for this event knew what I was thinking as I giggled, filled with glee, in front of Wells' 1137 and Scraps, set in frame against a red wall of Gensler Design. My friend tapped my shoulder and said, "Honey, I don't think it's real. I think it's a real rEdo." I looked at her and we both stepped forward, about three inches from the two pieces. Indeed, Wells' pieces were watercolors of found objects. I felt fooled, and slightly upset with Mr. Wells, but then examined each of his pieces and decided that I'd really like him instead. The pieces are so intricate and detailed, he must have a love of found papers, he must. Serving as what I will think of as his ode to lost stories and littered city streets, Wells' pieces did a crafty job of rEvealing my own assumptions and, in my personal opinion, do the same job in rEvealing just how much alike we all are; tossing our lives away for someone else to find. Thank you personal note litterers and Mr. Wells, alike. I heart both of you for what you do.
Thank you also, Gensler Design. You impressed me with your treasure hunt of an exhibit, held in your gorgeous offices. You sifted up desires to become a designer, just so I could work in your offices and be surrounded by inventive, forward thinking ideas all the time. For now, I will remain an admirer, as well as one of the city's found-art-finders / litter-picker-uppers.
(*Images from top to bottom: Folded Creased Woven Stacked III, 2009, Christine Lee, outdated phone books, steel, 27" x 43.5" x 40.5"; Original Tangle, 2008, Dale Eastman, glass bottle, cotton gun cleaning patches, cotton thread, accompanying manuscript; Folded Creased Woven Stacked III, 2009, Christine Lee, outdated phone books, steel, 27" x 43.5" x 40.5"; Shims, 2009, Christine Lee, site-specific installation constructed from cedar wood shims, dimensions are variable; 1137, 1996, Tim Wells, watercolor.)
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