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Waste Not Want Not – Bronzes by Melissa Young

Waste Not Want Not – Bronzes by Melissa Young

What Waste not Want not
Bronzes sculptures by Melissa Young
Part of solo 21 at the Academy Galleries

Where The New Zealand Academy Of Fine Arts
1 Queens Wharf

When 15-30th October 2005
Open 7 days a week 10am – 5 pm

Email smellymelly40 @

Wellington artist Melissa Young, is exhibiting her new works in
Waste not Want not at Solo 21 at the Academy Galleries

Waste Not Want Not

We live in a consumer society. When an item breaks it is far easier to replace it with a cheap imported product. Who hasn’t been enticed to pick up a good bargain at The Warehouse or $2 Shop every now and then? Gone are the days when every Kiwi bloke could repair things with no 8 wire and she’ll be right for another five years mate.

New Zealand is no longer an isolated wee country at the end of the world perceived by European immigrants during the fifties and sixties as 10 to 15 years behind the times. As consumers, New Zealanders are now equal to our Northern Hemisphere counterparts but do we really need all these items or are we shopperholics?

Seemingly effortlessly we are allured by the power of the media to drive the latest car, be seen wearing the right clothing labels, to eat and drink at the coolest bars and restaurants, and own the most up-to-date sound system or television in our homes. Are we just easy prey to marketers, taking the bait and falling hook, line and sinker for a nicely packaged/presented item. Or maybe the marketers have hit the nail on the head and simply reached their target markets.

In 2004 I attended the exhibition “Quintessential Creativity” at Pataka which showcased a number of children’s toys made in developing countries, from materials such as milk cartons, tin cans and wire which developed countries would consider rubbish or with a limited use. This visit made me question “stuff” that I have collected/bought over the years. How would other people view it? As valued items, or landfill, it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

At the end of the day I don’t want to add to the needless waste that ends up in landfills so for this exhibition I have focused on recycling as my direction. Figures from older sculptures have been reused to form a new sculpture, a non-selling design is repackaged to see if it sells in its new format, and found objects which some people may consider junk have been incorporated with my bronzes and presented in a new manner. After all one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure.


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