My friend Lauren recently opened an exhibition of her work with groundfinds. Groundfinds are exactly what they sound like – interesting, different, unique things you find on the ground. They might be discarded or lost. They might be brand new or old and rusty. Power Street Project showcases the ground finds Lauren sees on her walk to work and makes into wearable art (think awesome necklaces and badges). The items are placed on pages from the Melways with cheeky or thoughtful annotations. The blue tape lines on the wall map the elevation of Lauren’s walk, which reaches a height of 76m, over 3km.
I absolutely love the idea of finding an item that is often disregarded as unimportant or unworthy – something that looks like trash – and turning it into something else, anything! Lauren also ran some workshops at the gallery for local schoolkids and got them outside, looking for bits and pieces they could later make into something they could wear. That’s what I think I loved most about Lauren’s work; aside from the excellent reuse, recycle, repurpose (and all those other glorious hashtags) aspect to it, there was the sense of “hey, you could do this too, you know”.
After we’d all walked around and ooh’d and aah’d (genuinely), Lauren made a little speech to thank everyone. She spoke about being in a job she didn’t find fulfilling or enjoyable and how her grandma reminded her of how much she used to enjoy making things. That was the kick up the bum for Lauren to start getting back into the thing she loved the most – creating. That really hit home for me. I’ve been wondering lately whether academia is the job for me and, I have to say, I left the exhibition with a heightened sense of wanting to throw in the towel! It seemed pretty clear to me that Lauren is loving what she’s doing, which is just the best thing and I’m incredibly happy for her 😀
The exhibition is only open for a few more days but do try and see it. Here are the deets:
Power Street Project by Lauren Castillo
Until November 1st
Hawthorn Arts Centre
360 Burwood Road,
Hawthorn, VIC, 3122
P.S. If you want to see my serious art viewing face, click here.