This upcoming show, opening Friday January 12th 2018, will feature puppets, sculpture, jewelry and furniture, all deeply crafted from 100% salvaged material. The three artists, Francesca Borgatta, Charles Foss, and Miles Epstein, each bring work with personality, humor, and a recognition that a long studio practice will always reveal new surprises. Especially when the work is assembled in a new context and new configurations.
Francesca Borgotta has been building puppets since the 1970’s, having been apprenticed with Bread and Puppet Theater in New York. Since then, she has lived a full life of dance, drama and puppetry. She comes to the Reclaimed Room from the East Bay, where she works at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.
“To make my artwork, I look for recycled materials. I bind random things together, say a crab’s shell and an insect husk. Then I add new things until they appear as a single configuration, a form which needs completion. I like puppets because each one has a name and a story, and is meant to be manipulated.”
“At the Reclaimed Room, I will present each puppet with bits of dialogue to indicate the story. The wall hangings include a set of tablets describing these five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. I started these in 2015 when I was studying Chinese traditional medicine where each element is assigned a color, a season, an emotion, and other qualities. To understand this interaction, I gathered objects in that material and arranged them on a plywood panel.”
“I am very happy to be showing my work in the Reclaimed Room. This wide open space celebrates both the aesthetic beauty and practical value of recycled materials. Artists are encouraged to work together to plan their show, and explore possibilities for collaboration, to generate a much-needed sense of community. Hopefully, through our artwork, we can encourage a sense of ecological awareness.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Charles Foss, also known as c.H.u.K, brings to the gallery work from his “Landfill Interception Project”, specifically his “Fauna” series. From his website freektures.com: “..an exploration of inanimate evolutionary improbabilities, using common everyday items which have been deemed useless, cast aside, and abandoned.” Originally from Maine, Charles has been a toy maker, prop fabricator, performance artist, part of a circus crew, a magicians assistant and a scary clown pie maker (among other things!) Currently he is creating “Funky Found Flora” and “Decolletorations ~ talismans created with magical parts and pieces we step on every day.”
Miles Epstein uses salvage materials and simple tooling to design and build art and other useful objects. His work ranges from furniture, sculpture and installation and uses paper, metal, cork and concrete. By allowing the qualities of his materials to drive many design decisions, Miles’ work is sometimes unpredictable and often quirky. The work is often very labor intensive but strives to appear natural, even relaxed.
For this show he says: “I’m revisiting the west-facing windows in the gallery, working with two new materials for me: clear acrylic sheets and colored, tumbled glass. By gluing the glass to the sheets with two-part epoxy I hope to create a hybrid visual experience, combining elements of graphic design, stained glass and painting. The process is exacting and fussy but has great potential for beauty. I am also bringing to the floor of the gallery a new collection of cafe style tables built primarily from cardboard and cork. The cardboard comes from salvaged bicycle boxes, and the cork is a mixture of reused rolled cork sheeting and recycled wine corks. These materials are very familiar to me and I’ve been using them in furniture work for over 12 years. But they still amaze me with their resilience, strength-to-weight ratio, and their subtle color palette.