If you see a woman looking at your garbage at the Haliburton dump don’t be startled as she may be looking for inspiration or materials for her latest creation.
Haliburton School of Art and Design is happy to welcome Valerie Ashton as the 2016 Reclaim Artist in Residence. The residency began last year with artist Rosemary VanderBreggen as a joint venture with the community the landfill and the college. Both artists are graduates of the college’s Studio Process Advancement Program.
Ashton who hails from Stouffville but cottages on Gooderham Lake is challenging the way people look at discarded items by transforming them into art.
In addition to collecting and repurposing she is experimenting with techniques at the landfill by creating “rolled landfill landscapes” using paint to uncover the natural patterns found within the discarded.
Currently the Reclaim artist has set up a studio at the college in one of the timber frame out-buildings until Aug. 5.
“I have always had an environmental conscience by doing simple things like bringing my own bags to the grocery store. Initially when I would go to the landfill site I found it gross but I have begun to think differently. Most people don’t have a full understanding of what ends up there. I didn’t. My hope is that I can inspire other people to think differently” says Ashton.
Ashton invites people in the local community to become involved in her endeavour by bringing her objects that might otherwise have ended up in the trash. She is available for visitors Monday and Wednesday between 9 and 4 p.m. as well as Tuesday Thursday and Friday afternoons.
Submitted by HSAD