uselessbemore is an umbrella term for UpShop’s creative work that might appear in public, at specific sites and emerge from collaborative efforts.
September 2017, Art In Public Places, Hobsons Bay.
We collaborated with Westonia49 for Artists in Businesses (a part of Art in Public Places) run by Hobsons Bay City Council. We installed object and image-based works created from found, foraged, and salvaged objects and materials at Westgate Health Co-op (a co-operative community health clinic) and the Burn City Test Kitchen, both situated in the tiny (but pretty special) shopping strip in Vernon Street, South Kingsville. Reanimated by the smell of wood-smoke and the buzz of a busy medical clinic, we hoped that what was once unloved or discarded might spark conversations, thoughts, and further ways to creatively address waste and extend its lifespan before it enters landfill.
What worked – working with people and at sites that are part of our everyday lives; finding solutions to ‘exhibiting’ that meet the conditions of upcycling; figuring out how two very different practices might fit together; accepting the limits of the two sites, including business hours and our decision to install works within areas of the clinic not accessible to the public; the fact that it didn’t look like an art exhibition.
questions that still remain – should we have put prices on the labels after all? Was more of the story (of the materials and objects) needed? Was it a problem that the works blended so well into the environments?
For more context, read responses to questions posed by Council
Thank you to….
Mary-Anne Perry, the manager of Westgate Health Co-op medical clinic &
Raphael and Steve, the owners of Burn City Smokers, for their enthusiasm and support.
Nancy Laing, for being a willing (and photographed) observer.
Bonnie Dalton, Hobsons Bay City Council for the social media and other support.
We discussed the matter of selling the ‘work’ and its cultural and economic value – extensively. We didn’t end up including a price on the labels, wanting them to only tell a little of the materials and objects. Instead, we have included prices in our documentation of the works installed below.