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Upcycled Art

A new show at the Bedford Gallery displays art made from everyday materials.


Lynn Aldrich, Starting Over: Neo-Atlantis, courtesy of The bedford gallery

Most of us go to The Home Depot for lightbulbs and toilet plungers, ready for a boring day of chores. Others see the makings of a sculpture—a statement about the way humans interact with nature.

Two such visionaries bring their work to the Bedford Gallery for Material Girls: Lynn Aldrich and Sabina Ott.

“[Aldrich and Ott] have this capacity to take familiar materials and create astounding large-scale pieces,” says Carrie Lederer, curator of exhibitions and programs at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek. “They also have a great sense of humor in their work.”

Lederer points to Aldrich’s Starting Over: Neo-Atlantis—a large sculpture made from sponges, plumbing parts, mops, and other cleaning supplies—as the kind of whimsical imaginary landscape that the exhibition will highlight. Similarly, Ott’s Why Is a Pale White Not Paler Than Blue? embeds lightbulbs and clocks into Styrofoam, creating a large sculpture that will hang in the gallery like a chandelier.

Lederer says both artists contrast the beauty of the cosmos and Earth with concern about human consumption. She notes an emblematic comment by Aldrich: “Lynn says, ‘Living as I do in Los Angeles—a massive metropolis enthralled with artificiality and glamour, yet with pockets of [wilderness] where mountain lions and bears roam—affects me. I am literally living on the fulcrum between nature and culture.’ ”

Runs March 23–June 4, bedfordgallery.org.

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