Linda Stringfellow and her creation Ms Purge. A close examination of the work finds a wide variety of found objects that demonstrate the concept of what is used in this artistic style. Tom Best photo

Found Objects a place to find great talent

The exhibition runs at the Smithers Art Gallery until March 3.

When one thinks of lost and found, we usually think of some public place that has become the last stop for something like one shoe, a glove, a forgotten water bottle of some such thing that usually has little value.

In the case of the Smithers Art Gallery, the current Found Objects is an exhibition of how things that might be considered useless or even used up can become works of art.

These are pieces which are made of materials and objects which are not normally used in the making of art. These materials can be man-made or natural and often have some function or use which has nothing to do with art.

The artists have interest and see value in these materials or objects and are inspired to develop various works of art using them as a basis.

Linda Stringfellow indicated that her work Ms Purge was the result of clearing our various objects in her studio.

“There’s a bird’s nest on the back. There’s a little starfish and I made all of this paper a few year’s ago with cedar,” she said at the reception for the show Feb. 2.

“Building things like this is not what I normally do but I really enjoyed it. I had these mannequins for years and years so it was kind of nice to do something with them.”

The various ways they might be used or combined with other materials and objects is only limited by the artists’ creativity.

One of the most interesting pieces of work at the exhibition has to be Millicent’s Forest by Anaise Labonte. It doesn’t take any imagination to see that the various pieces of lichen, moss and bark have become a dress and a pair of shoes. Perhaps it might not be something to wear to the Royal Wedding, but it could probably be worn at the Oscars.

Labonte is an astounding young talent. Only 17, she has been invited to an international show later this year. She is also a musician and says that she usually builds things like the dress as opposed to painting or drawing.

“This is part of a three-piece set. It will be going down to Shine 2018 in Vancouver which is a fashion show which raises money for mental health and addiction,” she said days before the show.

“It’s an honor to be part of something that big that makes such a huge difference. This is the middle work of a three-work set. Models will be wearing this.”

Labonte is undecided what she would like to do in the future. Her two main choices at the present time are being a musician or a marine biologist.

The exhibition runs until March 3.

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