Meet The Finalists For Masquerade Eco & Upcycled Art Exhibition

We are very excited to announce the finalists of our third annual exhibition!

Alinta Higgs - Woven Onion Bowl & Nest of Yarn Bowls

My work focuses on how individuals show an exterior that covers underlying layers of characteristics, thoughts and emotions. The red onion provides my stimulus for the “Masquerade” brief. “Onions have layers” Shrek, DreamWorks Animation, 2001. In the film, this phrase is used as an analogy to explain that individuals are made up of layers. In my work, I have used contrasting media to project and emphasises the difference between the layers. The woven piece is 40cm by 40cm and the yarn bowls are 15cm by 15cm.


Brendon McDowell - Dressing The Bones

The dressing,
Paper thin yet it conceals.
Shiny glossy exterior to mask the reality of our actions
Dead eyes empty of real content… contempt.

The bones,
The skeleton that holds us up still.
Stripped bare,
Still so much beauty,
Marked by tribal past ravaged by the present.


Elizabeth Blades – Rose Tinted Spyglass Mask

The three fates stand above an over exaggerated version of planet earth, an earth that is mostly consumed by water.
My piece questions if this is the true fate of our planet? Are we, as a human race, taking mother nature for granted?
The rose tinted spyglass mask is a metaphor for our closed minded outlook. If the mask is held up and in front of the desolated earth our planet as we know it today can be seen.
To prevent further destruction of our planet what can we do as individuals to help and conserve our current environment so it does not end up this way?


Hannah Lobley - Make Music with Music

In 2002 ago after accidentally leaving a book out in the rain, Hannah Lobley developed the award-winning Paperwork. She couldn’t bear to throw away her ruined an all-time favourite book (Lord of the Rings) and decided to see if she could reuse it, even though she couldn’t read it again.

Hannah had previously specialised in woodworking during her degree and followed the train of thought; that paper originates wood. She transferred those woodworking techniques to the paper when developing her new material, Paperwork. Recycling has always been important to Hannah within her work, so to be able to create a technique using the printed pages of unwanted books and paper that no longer had a use, became a defining factor within her practice.

Hannah begins by making the material, each page is layered and transformed back into a solid wood like material. Traditional woodworking methods are then used to cut objects from that material; the unique surface patternation of the paper when the objects are worked can never be recreated and echoes wood grain. Ultimately wood becomes paper becomes wood again. Each item is hand-made by Hannah in her Derbyshire studio.

The piece submitted is a full-sized Violin produced from old music sheets and books, using the Paperwork technique described above. The recycled material is Masquerading as wood and is the opposite to how paper is, in its original form. It is firm, not flimsy, strong not easily torn and at a first glance the viewer does not think it is made from paper. Made from found music sheets, the structure of the violin is disguised in the music notes a violin makes.


Jac & Leigh Cooke  - Captain Jonny – a mask in driftwood!

A ‘just for fun’ project making faces from recycled driftwood

Dimensions: Max 40cm x 40cm


Jackie Ward - Fly On The Wall & Mr Scissors

“Fly on a Wall” hints at how pollutants can cause nature to mutate.
Personal protection mask, knitted copper wire, distressed voile.
Hanging wall art 70 x 80 cm.

The starting point was a personal protection mask, it is a powerful symbol of the pollutants that a workforce are exposed to on a daily basis. As materials led, upcycling artist, I let the materials dictate what they will become…Inverted, the mask remains intimidating, but the properties change, and the breathing apparatus become two large, compound, all-seeing eyes. The juxtaposition between lifelike and larger than life is deliberately threatening, reminiscent of Jeff Goldberg’s “The Fly”, an illustration of what can happen when science and nature collide.



Mr Scissors – Hanging wall art 50 x 50 cm

Discarded surgical scissors are used to create Mr Scissors, the masked surgeon.


Kim Fowler – ‘Mon Rayon de Soleil’ – ‘My Sunshine’

Upcycled jewellery box (with missing key), decoupaged with old sheet music, wallpaper and photocopied illustrations, assembled with found objects and music box mechanism.

‘Mon Rayon de Soleil’ is based upon the traditions of the French pantomime clown, Pierrot, the unmasked clown, pining for the love of Columbine who breaks his heart leaving him for Harlequin. Unmasked, Pierrot is usually cast as the sad clown who wears his heart on his sleeve, heartbroken with the loss of Columbine. In my piece, ‘Mon Rayon de Soleil’ (‘My Sunshine’) explores this tale of unrequited love through a storyboard of illustrations applied to the exterior an old jewellery box, converted into a music box, which plays the melody ‘You are my Sunshine’, which in itself is a heartbreaking lullaby. The interior of the box has been assembled with a variety of ‘found’ objects including figurines, dried flowers and even a dead moth who decided to claim the box as it’s casket! Once the key of the mechanism is turned a head/mask, inside the box, rotates from happy to sad clown, underneath the quote ‘The world is full of beautiful souls wearing masks to hide the pain’.


Kirstie Adamson - Shattered

A magazine collage on an upcycled cupboard door. Shattered is a self portrait based on my struggle with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis, particularly the time prior to hysterectomy. The piece is inspired by the idea that I use makeup and a smile as a mask.


Paul Adamson – Log Tankard

“I work with trees each day and carve trees into objects for the home from woodland management works. This design of drinking vessel is a shrink pot. Leaving the bark and branch onto the surface rather than conventionally removing them, is a tankard in its simplest form. A log! “


Sarah Turner - Metamorphosis – Rainbow Classic, Solar

Metamorphosis is a series of artworks made from waste drinks cans transformed into beautiful butterflies. Each can is collected from local homes and businesses and cut into the different butterfly shapes. The series is entitled ‘Metamorphosis’, making a comparison of how the cans are transformed into something beautiful like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.

The Rainbow Classic piece is reminiscent of how specimens of butterflies are often displayed in museums.

A variety of different styles of butterfly are cut from waste drinks cans, folded then carefully arranged into the Solar design. The circle starts with tiny butterflies in the centre radiating out to larger butterflies towards the edges.

A variety of different styles of butterfly are cut from waste drinks cans and are upcycled into these stunning pictures. The circle starts with tiny butterflies in the centre radiating out to larger butterflies then dispersing into tiny butterflies at the edges.

All of Sarah’s work is made in her studio in Nottingham from waste materials she collects from local homes and businesses. With some highly skilled cutting and intricate sculpting, she transforms these discarded materials into high quality, unique designs. Her work proves that…. “Just because a product is made from rubbish it doesn’t mean it needs to look like it does!”

Simon Clark- Giraffes CAN Dance

The title is a play on words of the children’s book “Giraffes can’t dance” which deals with issues of self confidence and self belief, something close to my heart. The work itself is inspired by African tribal masks which are often created using animal images to represent specific virtues of the animal, such as strength, or to communicate to the wild animals to protect the village or its crops. I chose the giraffe because I find it a very striking animal with its patterns and its unusualness. It has also had its environmental status raised to “Vulnerable” meaning that one day these beautiful creatures may not exist. The mask is constructed from reclaimed pallet wood and it has been chosen to show off the different textures that an unpromising sounding material.


Susan Stevens-Jenkins - Storyteller Chair

Title: The Storyteller’s Chair

Artist’s Statement: When all the trees are felled, all the woods are gone, the Storyteller casts her net and brings forth bleached branches and ghostly leaves. I manipulate found objects before placing them out of their usual context to produce surreal and insightful images to highlight environmental and social issues.

Mixed media – Reclaimed chair, found driftwood, hand spun and crocheted rare breed fleece from Whitefaced Woodland sheep.


About Kirstie Adamson

Kirstie Adamson is a magazine & junkmail collage artist. Co-Founder of EcoCreate art & craft network and a passionate revamp crafter!

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