Creating Meaningful Relationships with Stuff: Life of Materials

Life of Materials

The Life of Materials show at Gallery 263 in Cambridge is all about stuff.

These days, our problems seem to revolve around an excess of stuff:

How do I organize my clutter?
How can I get to inbox zero?

In Life of Materials, Dena Haden, Emily Brodrick, Emily Manning-Mingle, and Will Whelan embrace stuff, using found objects to create playful work that adds layers of meaning and brings new life to things like plastic tree ties, old phone books, fallen logs, and worn clothes.

Here’s a quote from the gallery about the show:

Surrounded by waste and excess, this group of artists embraces the value of things that already exist and the legitimacy of humble materials. Brodrick, Haden, Manning-Mingle and Whelan’s habitual investigation of personal materials produces psychological associations and emotional responses. Together, these artists’ physical processes of reconfiguring, assembling, distilling and weaving both personal and found objects constitute an effort to order randomness and reassert meaning into familiar and discarded material. As the health of our natural environment becomes an increasingly prominent concern, these artists hope to raise awareness of the actions we can take as creators to alter our own footprints.

Life of Materials artists

Clockwise from top left: Emily Manning-Mingle, Emily Brodrick, Dena Haden, Will Whelan

I caught up with the artists for a discussion about making work, the creative process, and the relationships we form with the objects that surround us. You can listen to the interview here:
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The show is up at Gallery 263 until February 1st; the gallery is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12-7. And if you can’t make it into the show, you can watch Will Whelan’s “Murder Map” right here:

So how do you relate to the stuff in your life?

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