Happy Valentine’s Day! Some think it’s a commercial conspiracy to force unwitting consumers to purchase trashy Valentine gifts…but that rather depends on the type of trash we’re talking about. In one of the most curious new trends, discarded litter and old junk are being upcycled to create collectable clothing, arty accessories and works of design art.
These stunning ‘art bags’ by acclaimed designer, Annie Sherburne, at ShopCurious, are an example of what can be created using found objects. Annie sources high quality vintage handbags, which she embellishes individually, using carefully chosen pieces of everyday junk, worked into painterly collages. As well as bits of vintage jewellery, Annie often uses old watch faces and straps, parts from retro dolls and toys, and quirky tourist memorabilia to decorate her bags.
Incidentally, discarded waste and the filth around us form the subject matter of the Wellcome Collection’s forthcoming major exhibiton, which runs from 24th March until 31st August. Dirt: the Filthy Reality of Everyday Life ‘travels across centuries and continents to explore our ambivalent relationship with dirt’ via photography, cultural ephemera, art, scientific artefacts, film and literature.
Apparently, over half the world’s inhabitants now live in urban areas, and are exposed to the overcrowding, inadequate sanitation and industrial nature of modern life. Dirt poses a significant risk to our health, but is also vital to our existence. The exhibition aims to ‘reveal the fascinating world of filth that remains one of the very last taboos.’
Hmmm, perhaps this wasn’t such a romantic topic to bring up on Valentine’s Day. But then I’m not sure how much fun romance would be without the dirty bits…
PS Read more on the messy business of romance in my latest post at The Dabbler.