Make Art, Not Landfill

Sustainable Living Festival exhibitions

Make Art, Not Landfill

The exhibition Make Art, Not Landfill was held as part of the Sustainable Living Festival 2023.

Where: FOUND:ling Reusery (formerly The Reimaginarium), 107 Moorabool Street, Geelong

When: 1-28 February for the SLF, but it has been extended until the end of May 2023. Open 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Garden Trouve by Deidre Ogilvie. A garden painted on found glass with flowers, sculptures and other features created from street trash

Waste Not: Make Art

A smaller display, Waste Not: Make Art, was also held as part of the Sustainable Living Festival 2023.

Where: North Melbourne Library, 66 Errol Street, North Melbourne

When: 1-28 February 2023.

Silver City Sunrise Through the Mist by Pat Duncan and Nancy Lane

Reclaiming waste materials

Both exhibitions featured artists and designers who work with waste materials. They included artworks and artisan products made from reclaimed, discarded or second-hand items.

The artists repurposed and converted these materials into new forms with new uses – in effect, creating art, not landfill.

A range of artworks – including paintings, sculptures, mosaics and collage – were integrated with home décor, lampshades and furniture, all made from salvaged materials.

Unearthly Bloom by Pat Duncan and Nancy D Lane

About Creativity Cluster and Friends

Creativity Cluster is a group of women artists who live in and around Melbourne, Victoria. Each person works in one or more mediums – including ceramics, mosaics, found object assemblage, oil and acrylic paints, alcohol ink, oil and cold wax, textiles, photography, collage and more.

However, not all of us work with reclaimed and repurposed materials. For these exhibitions, we have invited several other friends who do.

Slices showing some of the varying types of mediums used by Creativity Cluster artists

About FOUND:ling Reusery

FOUND:ling Reusery is owned and operated by Ryan Mischkulnig. Ryan has had a fascination with the the possibilities held by discarded things since he was a kid.  In primary school he would pick up bikes from the hard rubbish and rebuild them into one-off creations.  This evolved through high school, to the point where he opened a market stall selling upcycled creations and hand-painted vintage clothing. 

Ryan studied design and engineering at university, but has always found more joy and excitement in unlocking the potential in an old item, rather than designing a new one from scratch.  While he works across a range of mediums, including furniture and bicycles, his signature product is bluetooth speakers.  Melding new technology with old, he proudly produces bluetooth speakers with all of the functionality of brand new ones, which are, by weight, over 90% repurposed.

Participating artists

Nancy D Lane (working as NancyDee Sculptures) is the facilitator for Creativity Cluster. She is a found object assemblage artist who creates quirky, imaginative wall sculptures, 3D sculptures, art magnets and brooches entirely from the metal, wood, tiles and plastic she gathers from streets and beaches. She has had several solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Laos, and her works have appeared in more than 60 group exhibitions. Her hope is that her creative use of unloved and unwanted trash will inspire people to follow the 5 Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle.

Deidre Ogilvie is a mixed media artist. For this exhibition, she has created several pieces with recycled and upcycled materials. She has mixed these materials with paint and other items left over from previous works that would otherwise have been destined for landfill. However, now repurposed with their own new lives, she hopes her arworks will enrich other people’s lives.

Mardie Whitla starts with a ball of clay. When she works with it, she feels relaxed and creative. She doesn’t use a wheel, and she doesn’t produce mugs. Sometimes she starts with a particular subject in mind; at other times, she gradually interprets whatever is in her head. It unfolds. It symbolizes something! As construction continues, she adapts and visualises what may emerge. All very well for the first firing, but after glazing, she might deduce something completely different. Then, by adding natural objects or discarded items she finds on streets or beaches, she sometimes can’t help but surprise herself, as she displays her work in a new or different way.

Pat Duncan loves painting in oils and has been doing so for more than thirty years. She recently discovered how easy it was to paint on plywood. Since then, she has experimented with whatever wooden surfaces she has come across, picking up boards on the street, in sheds and skips. Recently she has started collaborating with Nancy Lane, who converts her painted boards to 3-dimensional sculptures using a range of found objects. According to Pat, not only has reusing and repurposing been fun, but it has kept her creative juices flowing. 

Luna Cameron-Parrish (Amethyst Moon Art) is a mixed media artist who uses a combination of mosaic, assemblage, painting and sculpture techniques. She enjoys working with ceramics, glass, found objects, polymer clay and natural materials. Luna is inspired by myths and stories, including those told in song or poetry. She creates narrative works with layered meanings, some obvious, some hidden. She also has a dark sense of humour and loves art that is quirky, weird, irreverent or kitsch.

Julia Zöllner is a German artist, now living in Switzerland, who worked as an artist and art teacher in Melbourne for a year. During this time, she often collaborated and exhibited with Nancy Lane. She is an enthusiastic urban sketcher, illustrator and painter using water colour to oils, and enjoys experimenting with scale and material. Julia uses art and her creativity to connect, educate and push boundaries.

Milos Pelikan creates sculpture using recycled, reclaimed and repurposed every day industrial and electronic materials. He is inspired by the industrial landscape of Melbourne, and finds the scale, textures and mystery of industrial landscapes a major source of inspiration.  Through his sculptures, he explores themes of identity and sense of place in an age where everything “real” is digital. He uses all sorts of materials such as bolts, cables and old circuit boards to build three dimensional profiles of the human face and more abstract pieces.

Creina Hughes has a background in sewing clothing, and is a member of the Australian Sewing Guild. After retiring, she discovered her creativity. Initially she explored the world of mosaics and learned many skills from this medium. Subsequently she has found both joy and challenge in using old and unwanted fabrics and discarded items, reinventing them into wearables and art. She has won several first prizes in the upcycle and textile category at the Bellarine Agricultural Show, and she has also exhibited at the Louis Joel Gallery in Altona.

Dave Shellard is known by his nickname “Tox” (Shellard, Shelltox, Tox. Long story.); hence the name, Robotox Creations. He worked in the TV broadcast industry for over 40 years, but since COVID, he started making creations out of bits and pieces he had lying around and components he sourced from second-hand dealers around the Geelong area. He loves creating new artistic and useful products out of old and discarded items. His works tend to have a ‘steampunk’ look and feel, which reflects the ‘Old Victorian’ genre he adores. Each piece is unique and made with love and care.

Rachel Burke is the owner of Vintage Remixed located on Little Malop Street in Geelong. She collaborates with FOUND:ling Reusery, Pianos Recycled, and Bits and Pieces Mosaics. Her own specialty is creating lampshades from all kinds of vintage paper, from sewing patterns to maps. Her gallery and shop is known for unique one-off oddities, rarities, fashion and art pieces that bring a smile to people’s faces.