The recycling art of Stuart Haygarth

Jun 14, 2016 | written by:

Playing with colors and shapes and giving a new life to junk materials, transforming them into true artworks. Stuart Haygarth, internationally renowned Anglo-Saxon artist, during his walks, collects banal objects of everyday life which tell a story, takes them in his laboratory, catalogs and then assembles them giving to discarded objects a new identity: and that is how chandeliers, art installations and fascinating light sculptures born.

Among his artworks, one's prettier than another, 'Strand' is one that undoubtedly deserves special attention. Commissioned by the University College London Hospitals for a permanent display at the new UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre in London, the installation presents itself as a strong metaphor of cancer, a disease that directly or indirectly involves more and more people and it is becoming one of our biggest fears. Dealing with this disease is both a mental and physical journey that throws the diagnosed and their families into the unknown, so the starting point of the artwork could only be a personal physical and mental journey of the artist.

 Stuart walked along the coast from where the River Thames meets the North Sea, from Gravesend to Land's End. He chose the coastline because historically the sea was viewed as the 'unknown'. Along this 450 mile walk he has collected artificial objects (lighters, gloves, combs, shoes) that had been washed ashore by the water. The collected materials represent a sort of archive, fragments from unknown people's lives and the artist has decided to classify them by color, from white to black, imagining that a cancer diagnosis creates an explosion of emotions and mental and emotional reactions, including confusion, a sense of chaos, yet also the strength and determination. Stuart has created with the objects a visual explosion of color (the objects at the core of the sculpture are white and gradually they turn to black in the outer pieces) and forms that through the arrangement and the precise assembly, also radiate a sense of calm and control, suspended from a platform on a series of fine metal cables.

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