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Etsy Sellers and the Art of Upcycling Showcased at ReArt 2015

Apr 27, 2015

by Sarah Ponthieu

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

The beauty and artistry of upcycling was on show last week at the inaugural ReArt exhibition which was proudly supported by Etsy and featured the work of many talented Etsy sellers.

Despite some wild Sydney weather, guests joined Retrash author and ReArt curator Nathan Devine and exhibiting artists from around the country to toast the opening the inaugural exhibition celebrating the beauty and art in upcycling.

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Robyn Woodrow created this paper gown and headpiece from hundreds of pages from discarded books.

Work from almost 40 sellers from 10 countries around the world were featured in the exhibition, which opened to the public on Earth Day and ran until Sunday 26 April. More than half those exhibiting were also Etsy sellers here in Australia and as far away as the US, Canada, Europe and the UK.

Brett Martin’s 3.5m great white shark created entirely from found metals took out with the top prize for the exhibition.

Brian McNamara from Rare Beasts took home the People’s Choice Award with his sound-drawing Automatphone made from an old printer mechanism, old electronics and off cut wood.

Retrash explores the stories behind upcycled artworks from around the world and was launched at the ReArt exhibition.

Retrash explores the stories behind upcycled artworks from around the world and was launched at the ReArt exhibition.

In the foreword to Retrash, the book launched as part of this exhibition, Etsy’s Senior Manager Values & Impact Katie Hunt-Morr said: “Each crafted piece has a rich story: the inspiration and care brought by their creator, as well as the history of the materials themselves. Upcycled goods connect us to our environment and to the maker. They are also a means of connecting us to our history as artifacts from another era, revived to take on modern value.”

It was a sentiment echoed at ReArt’s opening night and captured in the pieces featured in the exhibition.

Narelda Joy with her whimsical ‘Victorian riding hat’ made from found metal objects

Narelda Joy with her whimsical ‘Victorian riding hat’ made from found metal objects

Katie Keast turns cutlery into stylish accessories.

Katie Keast turns cutlery into stylish accessories.

Etsy sellers exhibiting at ReArt included Keast Designs, Red Zebra Designs, Industriana, Narelda Joy, Rugrat Rewind, GHIFY Furniture, Kirralee Robinson, Bow Birdie, Found by Ange, Velo Culture, Rare Beasts, Groovy Green Glass, Dystopian Artworks, Handmade by Holly, Deckstool and Aussie Jules.

To see their work and all the pieces exhibited, head to the ReArt website. Want to pick up a copy of Retrash for yourself? Head to their website and enter the code etsy5 at checkout for a $5 discount.

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Opening night for the ReArt exhibition at Sydney’s M2 Gallery.

4 comments

  • KeastDesigns

    Katie Keast from KeastDesigns said 5 years ago

    Thanks for the mention Sarah. It was an absolute thrill to be picked to exhibit alongside so many like-minded artists for the reart exhibition. Many thanks to Nathan Devine for all his hard work putting it together! Showcasing what can be done with a little elbow grease and ingenuity to make something old new again is something i believe to be a truly worthy cause! Cheers :)

  • WoodsyWools

    ACR from WoodsyWools said 5 years ago

    Looks like a fine event ...

  • priyaamrit

    The White Fire from TheWhiteFire said 5 years ago

    i love the shark!

  • DanB1000

    D 'n' A Clay from DNAclay said 5 years ago

    Upcycling is such a great concept (laudable too) but too often is underwhelming or disappointing. But not this! Absolutely fantastic.

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