The artist in question is a great friend of the family and she agreed to let me write a piece on her under two conditions:
- I can’t tell you her name.
- I can’t show you pictures of her art.
She is very, let’s say… shy. She doesn’t want to be judged on the vast internet and she has a right to. She’s in her 70s and is still adapting to what the internet can do for artists. She’s already been featured in old magazines and even appeared on the Discovery channel once during the heyday of her career as an artist. She has been known to weld scrap metal into animals, make robot-like sculptures out of old computer parts and, now, she’s known in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada for making abstract standing art pieces out of broken fridges, stoves, ovens and all other household appliances.
The idea to so this first came to her when her microwave broke down. She had wanted to get a new one for years, so she decided to buy a new one and see what she could do with the old one in a creative sense. She took her husband’s screwdriver and opened the microwave up to find cool parts that she then glued together to make a little statue for her window sill. Now this statue isn’t supposed to look like anything specific, hence the use of the word abstract, but everyone who sees it claims to know what it’s supposed to be. She just smiles at them and fakes agreement.
After getting many compliments on her appliance art, she decided to make a bunch of them, getting scrap appliance parts from many local appliance repair companies in Kelowna BC. In one day she managed to get 3 busted stoves, a freezer, 2 fridges and several other small appliances. She even got donated an antique ice box from Appliance Repair Kelowna, one of her main suppliers. This was a big day for her, little to her knowledge, because in one month she would be the main exhibition of a local art show and would go on to earn several awards for her creativity around Canada. That’s why I wanted to share this story so much, because it shows the power of creativity.
She made all kinds of wacky and bizarre art pieces out of these broken appliances. She used springs, bolts and scraps of plastic to make cool animals, and she even made a bust of Justin Trudeau–that to me looks nothing like him–out of the insides of ovens and a freezer. From the ice box she made what to me looks like a volcano, and out of some toasters welded together she made what to me looks like, well, a bunch of toasters welded together. She also applies paint and sometimes stickers to her pieces to give them extra flavor. My favorite piece of hers is a robotic statue made out of every major household appliance you could think of. There’s even parts of a vacuum in there and it stands eight feet tall. This one she sold to a Kelowna farmer for over $3,000!
Now this is a quote from one of the interviews she did for a local Kelowna newspaper: “Sometimes appliances just on their own if put in the right place can look like art, especially if the appliance is outdated. Even newer appliances though are designed to be aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. I think my best pieces are the ones that combine the old appliances with the new, and when you put them in the right place you might not consider it art if just passing by because it looks like an appliance.”
That quote really lets you get into her thinking. It might not make sense to everyone but here at Dedoor Creative Ideas it makes perfect sense! The best kind of art compliments it’s environment. Sometimes striking art is good for conveying ideas, too, but most art is placed in a spot where it fits in, and this is what my friend is doing with her broken appliances. And Kelowna appliance repair companies love working with her because usually they have to pay to dump their broken stoves and stuff, so it’s a win-win for everyone, especially people like me who get to appreciate the art and gain inspiration from the artist’s creativity.
So I hope you got some inspiration from this, too. It’s not an everyday occurrence where one of your city’s best art of the time is made from broken domestic appliances. Maybe next time your fridge breaks you’ll remember this and start a new art project. Either way, this was a cool story and I hope you enjoyed!