After throwing away a broken pair of sunglasses or dumping the one too many twigs in your front yard, it never crosses our minds that, in the eyes of another of person, these items hold the potential to live new life. Now, not everyone can reimagine or reuse materials in this way, but sometimes someone’s trash can be seen as another person’s treasure. If anyone happens to have a knack for this kind of talent, it’s definitely artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster, who are truly one-of-a-kind upcyclers. This iconic duo is legendary for piecing rubbish or ordinary items into various arrangements that are projected to create a shadow of identifiable objects. Sounds easy-ish, right? Eh, not so much. This transformative art is not quite like the typical critiques on realism or abstraction, but rather calls on our mental processes that we use every day — what psychologists refer to as “perceptual psychology.” A popular example of this is the black and white image of either a vase or two faces. Which do you see? This is a prime method in which our brains evaluate even the simplest of tasks or the toughest of decisions. Noble and Webster’s arrangements of discarded waste, scrap metal or sometimes even taxidermy creatures somehow manage to not only challenge our minds, but also utilize the strangest of materials. Manipulating your not-so-typical art materials is a growing sensation, and the pair’s work is recognized across the world. From the MoMA to the Art Gallery of South Australia, these two U.K. natives have traveled the globe unveiling their latest creations. Graduating from Nottingham Trent University with degrees in fine arts, Noble and Webster don’t just make shadow creations, but also fabricate a series of light sculptures. Mixing the attitudes of opposites like love and hate or male and female, Noble and Webster are the craftiest of sorts. So, one might question, what does this have to do my lifestyle habits? Let Noble and Webster serve as a model for change. Artists no longer stick to the typical paint and brush, but are instead finding more resourceful and downright genius ways to express their creativity. Buying new is not always the answer, and sometimes what one might be searching for is right out front. We can challenge ourselves to do the same as Noble and Webster. From the little things like reusing water bottle containers to creating a compost system in the back yard, this ever-growing green revolution that is fueled by your actions.
Tim Noble and Sue Webster: Shedding Light on Grungy Garbage
A pair of U.K.-based artists take what is seemingly garbage and project it in a whole new light.