Monday, April 22, 2013

Hubcap Project

Guest Post by Viv King

The Landfillart Project is an artistic endeavor that tries to increase awareness of the amount of trash people generate.

The idea was thought up by Ken Marquis, a gallery owner and framer from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, who started a collection of old discarded hubcaps  and has spent the last three years convincing other artists from all the US states and 52 foreign countries to give old hubcaps the artistic treatment.
An article from the Huffington post tells Ken's story:
Then he (Ken Marquis) began prowling the Internet, emailing artists who caught his eye to gauge their interest. 
A typical reply, Marquis says, went something like this: "`You want me to find a hubcap in my own country and pay for that, and you want me to pay for (the materials to make) this piece of great art, and then you want me to ship it to you at my expense, and then you want me to gift it to you? Am I understanding you correctly? OK, yeah, I'm in.'"
"I've had that conversation hundreds of times," Marquis says. "Artists get it."

I was one of the artists Ken contacted and I gave him pretty much the same reply! I am an ardent supporter of recycling projects, alternative building methods,  and making use of local materials and found objects wherever possible to create works of Art.

I was born in the Eastern Cape in South Africa, which has a rich tradition of beadwork amongst the Xhosa nation, lead by the great statesman and much loved former President, Nelson Mandela.

Beads were initially used as trading in the early part of the 19th Century and have a special social and ritual significance, used for denoting gender, age and status of the wearer.

I managed to source an old VW hubcap from a second hand car dealer. No, I did not trawl the dumpsites looking for them as I knew I would not find any. Some poor soul from the townships would have got there before me and made a stove out of it or something, this being South Africa and poverty being a powerful motivator of ingenuity.

I arranged the beads in an Ndebele pattern. The Ndebele is one of the many  groupings of people in the broader Southern Africa. I liked the strong African design.

A single bead is a humble object of little significance. But when put together in numbers they make a powerful statement. Just as the small voices who are calling to save our planet from extinction, when added together become a powerful  force of change in government laws, and bring about the end of industrial pollution in the world.

Ken has collected over 1000 hubcabs. 250 of these have been selected as part of a travelling exhibition which begins its journey in a Museum in Pennsylvania and from there around the States and hopefully around the world.

I am pleased that my hubcap has been chosen, as it is a subject very close to my heart.

View other hubcaps submitted as part of the project:

1 comment:

  1. Well done Viv - amazing hubcap - also support you all the way regardign the saving of our planet.
    Keep up the good work.Brenda.