We've seen the enormous installations of New York City-based artist Phoebe Washburn before, and in her latest works she seems to create even more complex environments, all out of recycled wood and cardboard -- some re-used again from previous installations.
Recently exhibited at Zach Feuer Gallery, Washburn's latest piece is titled "Nunderwater Nort Lab," which "juxtaposes two seemingly unrelated activities – art and lunch":
Lunch is a daily activity, often overlooked, that occasionally infiltrates the gallery art viewing experience. In this installation, visitors will smell lunch as well as observe it being made and eaten inside the installation. The main structure, composed of blocks of scrap wood that have been repurposed and then ordered from previous installations, contains observational ‘worm holes’ that extend into the structure from which visitors can glean, in addition to hear and smell, bits of the activities occurring inside. In Washburn’s work, everyday objects and activities are reinterpreted to create appreciation for process and experience.
The installation is impressive in its meticulous re-use of scrap wood to create a mind-boggling array of texture and depth. Washburn's other room-sized pieces marshall large armies of recycled materials to create lush landscapes of wood, pulp and plants, its final form being reliant on constraints that are specific to each site. Washburn calls her art "spontaneous architecture," saying:
My sculptures depend a lot on the spaces where they are shown because they often are anchored into the wall but chance is definitely more of a factor in the final product than is any predetermined design. I just let the structures evolve by repeating the same action again and again. The process has a slightly neurotic element in that it involves adding little behavior habits. As silly as it sounds, I often feel as if my assistants and I are beavers building a dam. The shapes are less about form than they are about the activity involved in amassing and assembling the forms.
It's definitely one creative way to re-use and bring attention to materials that our society often discards. See more of Washburn's incredible installations here.