Back to School starts with a new box of crayons, sharpened pencils, a new tablet and a cool lunchbox. I never had a cool lunchbox when I was a girl, so this show has been lot of fun to create. I think these lunchboxes have the right “stuff” to help us adults think playfully again – like when we were kids.
They are made from old lunchboxes collected from flea markets, friends and family, and some new lunchboxes – and dozens on dozens of tins from wild and wacky to elegant and artistic to some quite mundane. I am amazed with their rich colors, patterns, embossed textures and comical shapes. Choosing the pieces from each tin to use in a special way has been the most fun and challenging exercise.
I have been using recycled and reclaimed metal in my artwork for several years. I started collecting metal cookie tins, toy metal furniture, candy tins and other odd metal parts just because they were interesting to me. I’m delighted by the relationships between the different parts of an interesting mechanical device – or the colors, patterns and textures of a graphical display. I like using switches, knobs, buttons and levers to create an interaction between the artist and the viewer.
In these lunchboxes, all the different and varied parts have come together to a new purpose – to bring a smile or a giggle to lunchtime. Or, perhaps a story of childhood adventures like riding the school bus and messing with the bullies in the back.