Chad Arney

Cindy Kelly

Brendan Duggan

April 27 - May 18
Public Reception: Saturday, May 4, 1pm-4pm

To make their art, Chad Arney, Brendan Duggan and Cindy Kelly take everyday items that are no longer useful, relevant or wanted and transform them in something beautiful, fantastical, quirky, interesting, thought provoking or humourous.  

The items each artist uses come from various places and times. “The items we use were once well used or loved and have a history of their own,” explains Cindy. “These pieces have soul and by giving them a new life we allow that soul to live on in a new way. We feel that up-cycling is not only a wonderful creative exercise, but also it is a change in perspective that is crucial as humans continue to multiply and evolve on this plant. We have more than enough stuff. Our landfills are overflowing, manufacturers keep pumping out products and we continue buying new things.”  

Each artist has very different approaches to their up-cycled art. Cindy works most with vintage silverware and hollowware. Usually, if the silver itself is ornate and refined, her creation will reflect that quality as well. Her deer mount sculpture, Spirit, is an example of her use of ornate silverware and antique hollowware. The neck and base of the head are made from both a gravy boat and an elaborate silver teapot dated 1982. If the silverware she is using is more plain or utilitarian, she will often use it to create something functional such a fruit bowl made from 160 simple, silver-plated spoons.  

Brendan’s sculptures combine the use of found objects, whole or modified, juxtaposed with other found or fabricate parts and materials. “Whenever I use found objects in my work, I hope that the viewer is instilled with the ability to become aware of the possibilities in the objects around them,” says Brendan who studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Toronto School of Art. “I always like hearing people’s stories of how they found a random object and thought about its transformation.  

Chad uses discarded metal parts from the past to create robotic forms of the future. As Chad creates his artwork, he is always thinking about the mass creation of products we don’t need and that don’t last, products that were energy intensive to produce and harmful to the planet. “I have built sculptures from these products that will last past the consumer’s lifetime as well as carry on a history and bring charm with it into the future,” remarks Chad. “I find myself hypocritical trying to sell something to people that they do not need, however, I console myself that every one of my pieces are one-of-a-kind and not mass produced. My art can be placed in any environment and survive and it is going against commercialism and doing its part to help the environment with its recycled components as well as bringing enjoyment to the discerning buyer.”  

When asked why he or she likes making their art, each artist had a different answer. One of Cindy’s favourite things about going into her studio is looking through all the beautiful raw materials that she has acquired because people were not using it or didn’t need it anymore. “It has a history and I feel honoured to be able to usher these things into their next life, one where it can be loved and appreciated again, but in a new way,” says Cindy. For Chad, he enjoys creating things from nothing and bringing something found in a junk pile to life. “I like my art because it is pure in all its imperfections. It is the antithesis of modern day consumerism,” notes Chad. “It is what I can make when things are purchased and eventually discarded. I am breathing new life into the dead.” Brendan reveals a different aspect to the making of art. “I’m not always sure I like my art,” discloses Brendan. “Sometimes it can be a nightmare or an exploration into a dark space. I do know that some of the most rewarding parts of my life have been when I’ve made a connection with myself and my work or answered some existential question that seemed unanswerable.”  

“We hope the viewer leaves Lost & Found with a new found sense of wonder about everyday items,” Cindy exclaims. “We also hope that people might not be so hasty to throw things away or replace old things with something shiny and new. Old can become new again with a little love and creativity.”

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