It’s never quite the plan, or even anticipated at the start of a project but there always seems to be quite a large element of repetition in my work. Having spent the past days and weeks continuously cutting out leaves for my ‘Sustainabilitree’ i think my right hand has now moudled itself to the shape of my scissors. Knowing that i would need in excess of 8000 leaves for the tree, i was adamant that i wanted to cut them by hand. This was largely because i wanted each leaf to be unique. I was aiming for the Sustainabilitree to be as realistic as possible to fit in with the fact that it would biodegrade back to nature in the same cycle that a real tree would. I also had worked out in advance that i would be able to cut out 5 leaves at a time using scissors. In reality, this didn’t prove very easy so, i literally cut each leaf out one at at time…

So here are all the components…

The Trunk – the plastic objects visible through the bark demonstrate the items that bioplastics can now be used to replace. (Photo taken on possibly the only day of summer this year 😦 )

The Branches:

And the Leaves:

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After another successful exhibition in Manchester (I won an award for originality 🙂 ), it was time to say goodbye to my little yellow caravan.

As heartbreaking as it was to let her go, storage and logistics had proved to be quite a nightmare. Especially since being in London where finding a little green field to store her was an impossible task!

I had previously been storing the caravan on a farm in between exhibitions, but the thought about doing this indefinately worried me about the condition she would get into. I would rather see her go to a nice home now, than keep her a little while longer but then have to send her to a scrap heap at some point down the line!

So, after lots of thought, deliberation and changing my mind most days, i decided that now it’s the start of the summer, i would like her to go to a loving home with lots of children so that they can be getting pleasure and use out of it. (I was still undecided with 3 minutes to go on the ebay auction so got my boyfriend to bid…satisfied that he was the highest bidder and that i got to keep the caravan, i left the room…only to come back to my computer and see that he had been outbid in the last 3 minutes!) Gutted!

So off she goes to meet her new and adoring family in Yorkshire…

The photograph below shows the brown biodegradable sheet i have been working with to make the bark of my biodegradable tree for Stanelco PLC.

Thermo-forming sections of this brown sheet over the clay mould (shown above) transfers the texture imprinted on the mould to the biodegradable plastic sheet. I made the mould by using the clay to adopt the texture of a real tree bark. Once i have formed enough sections of bark i will melt all the small sections of together and will eventually have what will be the trunk of the tree.

As well as the bark texture the trunk will take on the shape of familiar plastic shapes in certain parts of the trunk as seen in the photographs below.

After cutting all the bark sections out i saved all the left over bits to use to make the branches – REUSING 🙂

To follow, the branch making…

My little yellow caravan appears once again after having been in hibernation for the winter.

Panic set in on her arrival at the exhibition after realising the keys seemed to have gone for a wander and there was no means of entry. Weirdly my mum had found a mouldy key in our house the day before and surely enough it opened the door instantly!

After this exhibition the caravan will hopefully be sold. It will be quite a sad moment for me, as after painting it over a period of a year with 24 litres of yellow paint and 40 000 polka dots, and i am very much attached to it!

However, every time i look down at my clothes i always see a little blob of yellow paint that just somehow managed to get onto everything i own so the caravan won’t seem too far away!

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE CARAVAN!

After receiving 48 000 visitors at various locations across Manchester, Bog Standard Gallery is now at it’s first London exhibition

Apthorp Gallery

Barnet Open

Thursday 8th May 2008Sunday 15th June 2008 12.00PM- 4.00PM

artsdepot’s answer to the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition.

This annual event, now in its fourth year, will offer an opportunity for talented visual artists to exhibit their work. Ranging from ceramics to photography, installation art to oil painting, The Barnet Open will showcase a broad range of styles and mediums in a contemporary gallery setting. The exhibition is the product of an open submissions process with local residents, artists and community groups having the opportunity to put their work forward for selection. The result will no doubt be a vibrant group show by compelling artists.