Broken Furniture Project February 2015
Broken Furniture Project originated from finding a three-legged chair. This chair was a fine chair and didn’t deserve to been thrown out. I bastardised this chair giving it a cardboard leg and strengthened it with a three-layered cardboard strut using gaffer tape to bind it. From that point on, I started noticing other broken furniture abandoned and began to gather and repair it in an ad hoc fashion using low fi materials immediately to hand. Without too much consideration, I hung a sign in the window of my Goldfish Bowl studio asking for broken furniture.
I was interested in the social side of this - meeting people and chatting - who I would never else have met. People were leaving me notes regarding sources. I received emails, texts and phone calls around this project. I was led to various recycling centres, reclamation yards, charity shops and met a socially-engaged breed of people concerned with consumption, waste and materialism, etc…
After a month or so, the response had overwhelmed my studio space and taken the form of an old man’s shed which led me to consider what I might do with all this surplus broken furniture. Much of it was beyond repair and I began to split this down with an axe and give it away as free kindling which in my mind a good step away from landfill, where much of this would have ended up.
The first unassociated product of the furniture was a bird box which resulted from putting my mind inside an old man’s head sitting inside his workshop. As soon as the first bird box was made, there were all kind of associations made with birds and their nomadic lifestyle and their search for smooth space. (Ref: Deleuze and Guittari ‘A Thousand Plateaus’.)
The gathering of broken furniture overwhelmed my space and I was forced into seeking alternative accommodation for it. This ranged from hoisting it up into the beams of the 3D canopy (see Car Pull video) to relocating to a field of a local eco warrior. I relented the loss of my faithful van and was forced to load furniture on top of my trusty car which was often overwhelmed by its burden, which led to Car Stack.