Tag Archives: 2006

Exhibition photos…first days

9 Dec

After Dan, Nicola, Zoe and I managed to clear out the rest of the junk left in the interior of the shop, we gave it a good clean and rearranged the shelving in preparation for the exhibition. As we pulled up the metal shutter for the ‘Re-Toyed Trash’ exhibition opening at 1pm on Thursday, several curious glances from other shop owners in the Merrion Market suggested that we had transformed the space into something new.

theartmarket exterior

We had two offers in one day from men who wanted to paint us a sign at a low cost. They had discovered that our shop was newly opened and were quick to get in with their offers. Once I had told the men that the two ladies who were renting out the shop were graduates from fine art courses and were going to paint ‘theartmarket‘ sign themselves, the men left looking rather disappointed.

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We had many curious passers-by who were not intentionally in the Merrion Market for our exhibition and would come and ask us questions. I found this to be a great benefit of the location of this venue, we not only had people who came down after seeing our posters around the town, on the internet and via emails….people who were wandering through the Merrion complex would stroll in and check the exhibition out. One man remarked that it had a very ‘welcoming’ feel to the space and this is unlike many galleries, which can be less welcoming to the general public on the street.

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I enjoyed the encounters I had with people wandering in and asking me questions, I met many interesting characters in the first two days. One lady (not pictured here) after seeing some of Dan Walls work told us a story of how her friend’s dog ate another friend’s parrot and how looking at Dan’s work reminded her of this. She also insisted on making a contribution and wrote in our guest book stating that she would like to see more of these creations. IMG_3433Dan's Frederfeeko toys

This is Dan Walls ‘Badgerborg’. When the stomach area is pressed the badger makes a wailing noise and when the shoulder is pressed the badger moves. Dan often re-uses the mechanical components from the toys that he finds and puts them together to create his unique toys.

'Badgerborg' by Dan Walls

This is Dan’s rabbit bag . He works with road kill and gives dead animals a new life in his work. To enable him to use this kind of material in his work, Dan has been learning taxidermy for the last 5 months. He only ever uses found objects, re-used materials and (already) dead animals in his work.

Dan's rabbit bag

This is Jonathan Bointon’s ‘Glassback Bear’. This soft toy has shards of glass protruding from it’s fur. Jonanthan says, ‘this distorts the ideas of cuddliness and comfort that one usually associates with teddy bears.’'Glassback bear' by Jonathan Bointon

Nicolar Bells’ ‘Stitchikers’ soft toys. They travel the world via people passing them on and their travels are documented by the bearer of the Stitchiker at the time and photos of their whereabouts are uploaded onto Nicolar’s website. One lucky Stitchiker managed to be passed on by Des Lynam (left in the photo below).

'Stitchikers' by Nicola Bell

Nicola Bells ‘Eew!’ toys. ‘Eew!’ stands for Ecologically Ethical World. Each character represents a sustainable solution, for example wind or solar power. Each of them is made from sustainable or recycled materials and these toys attack the idea of creating designer toys in plastics and uncompostable materials.
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‘Re-Toyed Trash’ exhibition…

6 Dec

It’s nearly here. The exhibition shall be opening tomorrow.
'Re-Toyed Trash' exhibition poster

New Robot Making montage

4 Dec

Robot Making montage

Robot Making workshop

2 Dec

The Robot Making workshop was today and was a success. Over 9 different robots were made, named, photographed and admired. Our guestbook idea was put into use in this workshop and a good idea to track email addresses, names of creations and particpants comments. Since it was a busy Saturday in the Merrion market, many people walked passed and curiously asked what we were up to. Hope the word of our workshops will spread and more people will get involved in the future. Here are some photographs from the event today…
Robot making entrance sign
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'GlamRock wannabe bot'

theartmarket venue ‘Before’ photos

2 Dec

BEFORE opening 1
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Newly opening art gallery/shop in the Merrion centre market. This is the interior of the as it was found and I was quite suprising by how much stock had been left by the previous owner. This stock will have to be cleared out before the opening of the exhibition. We tried to make the most of it by using it to make Robots in the workshop. See the next photos.

‘theartmarket’ is going to be run by the artists Zoe Sawyer and Anna Tonks and they plan to have regular exhibitions here.

Monster Making Workshop

19 Nov

Saturday Art Club poster

On Saturday 18th November, Dan Walls and I conducted a Monster Making workshop as part of the fortnightly ‘Saturday Art Club @ Fab Cafe’. This was our first workshop and we were pleased by the amount of participation and how many toys were made. We supplied the materials: furry fabrics, bones, parts of old toys, googly eyes, glue and decorating materials.

Some people didn’t quite understand the idea of it, asking ‘how much does it cost?’, and when we replied ‘nothing’ they said ‘what’s the catch?’. I guess some people aren’t used to being offered to do something fun at no cost. When people got over this initial shock of it being free and got into it, I think they enjoyed themselves.

Here’s some of the first monsters that were made: (from left to right) ‘Scabby Crabby’ by Bryony Pritchard, ‘YetiKenny’ (not yet finished) and ‘Knackbot’ both by Dan Walls

Some of the first monsters made

Rachel is showing some affection to her new monster creation…

Rachel Creamer giving some love to her newly made monster named 'Gareth'

Ogi’s holding his monster together with some glue…

Ogi working on his monster

John Martin holding together his monster ‘Bob’

John Martin with his monster 'Bob'

Didn’t manage to get this man’s name – but he created a really cool like monster with pins and screws attached

The monster table

The next workshop shall be Robot Making. It’ll be in two weeks time on Saturday 2nd December. Everyone is welcome. Dan and I shall be smashing up some old un-functioning stereos and televisions before then to use. But everyone is free to bring their own stuff to use.

We decided that for next time we shall bring a guestbook for names, creations and comments.

Saturday Art Club @ Fab Cafe

18 Nov

First Workshop

I have organised an art making workshop at the Fab Cafe in Leeds. The first session is tomorrow (Saturday 18th November 2006) and the theme is Monsters and if it’s successful, I hope to have a different workshop fortnightly. I thought Fab Cafe would be a good venue with it’s wide selection of sci-fi and cult television memorabilia, including a life-sized darlek and King Kong as well as a number of old school toys in glass cases, which could be great inspiration for making toys. It also provides a sociable space and sells drinks.

I have organised an art making workshop at the Fab Cafe in Leeds. This workshop is a result of a collaboration between the artist Dan Walls and myself. Dan creates small toy sculptures using found materials and things that would otherwise be waste. He shall be showing examples of his creations at the workshop and giving any help and advice to those who need it.

I created these posters to advertise the workshop and have put them up around Leeds. I wouldn’t say I was a graphic artist, but these posters hopefully reflect the D.I.Y. sense of the workshop. I had an idea that for each workshop there would be a different poster with an illustration of the new theme. This time it’s monsters, with one attacking the Merrion Centre building. The next poster shall feature an attack by robots .
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As well as putting these posters up around Leeds in various places, I have created a myspace account to spread the word.
www.myspace.com/recycledtoys
Go check out the myspace page for news of the next workshop and to post your comments.

Alternatively email: recycledtoys@hotmail.com