JULIE ALICE CHAPELL – INSECT SCULPTURES

Julie Alice Chapell is een schilderes, fotograaf en beeldhouwster uit Portsmouth, die componenten uit oude computers en gameconsoles (van Nintendo gameconsoles tot oude dvd-spelers) haalt en vervolgens van deze componenten, voornamelijk chips, chipsecten maakt. Deze prachtige, van chips en andere computercomponenten samengestelde insecten verkoopt zij via Etsy en haar eigen website. Haar werk is inmiddels ook in allerlei galerieën en musea te zien en te koop, tegen schappelijke prijzen. Zelf zei de kunstenares over haar werk en het ontstaan ervan: ‘My art practice involves breaking down the pre-existing materials, reinterpreting them and offering them a new form with new purpose, creating something beautiful, whimsical and precious. It all started several years ago when she came across a big box of tiny electronic components at the Beneficial Foundation in Portsmouth, otherwise known as the “The Craft Bank.” The center receives unwanted items from various companies and they pass along these “hidden treasures” to schools, community groups and artists. The first thing that came into my head when I looked at them was, ‘a mass of tiny bodies and legs…ants!’ I took them home to my children and we made ants. It was only years later, when I found the box again, that it sparked a new idea. I was enrolled in a Fine Arts degree program and through it I realized that I can use found objects in her artwork. As part of my degree, I got involved with environmental art. During a workshop, I met some young artists who were creating life-size robots with circuit boards from computers. Though they abandoned their project, I took home the circuit boards because I found them “so visually appealing.” While watching a nature program on bio-diversity, I thought about the “ants” in the cupboard and proceeded to create various bug sculptures using my newly found circuit boards. Through the series, called Computer Component Bugs, I hope to raise awareness of environmental waste. The recycled bits of cultural refuse that are woven throughout my work represent a direct encounter with the excesses of modern living highlighting the dangers of planned obsolescence and e-waste in the environment. The work displays an aesthetic beauty whilst offering a socio-political discourse, attempting to reclaim waste and the destruction of the natural world, in the beauty of visual art.’
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