Earth Day Series: Nine Lives

Counting down to Earth Day on April 22, we’re dedicating the next few posts to art that gives new life to discarded objects and promotes a greener approach to living. Check out our previous posts on recycled plastic and old computer parts. This post focuses on turning trash into treasure.

• The Landfill Philharmonic is a project started by a garbage picker in Cateura, a slum in Paraguay where a violin costs more than a house but trash is everywhere. He worked with a musician to make instruments from pieces of garbage and then started a children’s orchestra. You can support a documentary about it on Kickstarter.

• Mina Äkkijyrkkä’s Cows are gigantic sculptures constructed from scraps of used cars. Her work has a similar exuberance to John Chamberlain’s abstract balls of car parts, but she takes inspiration directly from her cows.

• Nick Sayers’ Sphere is made of railway tickets held together by cuts in the paper, not adhesives.

• Amy Orr’s Brooch is a starburst of gold credit cards cut into triangular fragments.

• This Bracelet by Squishy Sushi has strips of old magazines covering a wood base.

• Jeanie B’s Purse is knit from recycled silk sari yarn in every color.

• Bryan Northup’s Bowl pieces back together shards of amber colored liquor bottles.

• Ilaria Sadun’s Chandelier is a cascade of linking glass rings made of translucent amber and olive green wine bottles.

• Maria Whetman’s Bangle connects a circle made of recycled steel to a brass band.

• Jen Hardwick’s Owl is an assemblage of eclectic items like old eye glasses, gears, and typewriter parts.

• Derek McDonald’s Cross is densely packed with nuts, bolts, screws, and other recycled metal parts.