Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Untitled (detail ) , fabric, wood, rust, 132 x 288 x 8 inches by Leonardo Drew

Discovering the imposing work of Leonardo Drew was a turning point for me. I couldn't believe what I was seeing .....

Huge wall mounted tableaux of stacked boxes, nooks and crannies stuffed with found objects ...... rusted debris, papers, fabric, discarded wood and domestic and industrial trash.

Installation by Leonardo Drew

In a way Leonardo Drew gave me permission to continue collecting junk. Afterall, collecting and making art can go hand in hand. I had already started creating my niche carvings but I was finicky about the objects I chose to put in them..... and paying through the snout for these objects too, I might add. Since discovering Leonardo's work the more junkier junk is creeping into my art and I do like it!

Detail of one of my niche carvings.

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." - Thomas Edison

Assemblages by Romanowski

Swiss-born artist, Romanowski certainly knows how to fill his assemblage boxes with prime found objects. I imagine he spends many a blissful hour hunting the streets of San Francisco or there abouts. His work can be seen at Fabric8 Gallery, San Francisco. Click here and scroll to the bottom to see the rest of Roman's work on this exhibition. 

Turntable, assemblage by Romanowski

There are a few more nooks and crannies to explore at Musing Relics where Lynne Parks features her work......

Assemblage by Lynne Parks

"I am drawn to the discarded, forgotten, and obsolete which are by no means inert. I collect fragments found in the marginal spaces of alleys and abandoned buildings, trash heaps and flea market bins."

"As a child, I explored the unfamiliar and forgotten objects cluttered in my parents' drawers. Many afternoon hours were spent guessing at their practical usage, often as not imagining unlikely ones and imbuing them with life. The fountain pen nibs, defunct cigarette lighters, sewing machine parts and broken jewelry were my "plastic animals." My father's horological tools were especially evocative, later I was entranced with his beautiful landscape designs. My brother Bob and I read mythology together and I appropriated the notion of composite beasts." - Lynne Parks

I love Lynnes statement. It reminds me of my own childhood when squirreling found objects took up most of my day. The assemblage (below) by Kecia looks much like the boxes of treasures I kept in my "museum".....hoping that one day Gerald Durrell would stop by and be very impressed.

Typesetting Nature Box by Kecia Frazer Deveney at Lemoncholy

"We are left with objects that have a hollowness that we can fill with our own wonder and fantasy." - Thomas Moore

Shadow Box, lithograph by Clayton Thiel

Last but not least, little nooks with handmade treasures within.

White Pebble, (Ceramic) by Novie Trump

The Waiting by Novie Trump.


  1. Beautiful and so inspiring, thank you so much for this collection.

  2. Robyn----I love them all! You have a wonderful knack for finding talented artisans and putting it all together. Thanks for sharing!
    PS. I love "stuff"!

  3. Hi there Robyn. I'm back and what a lot of beauty to take in. I've been so busy with work,family and renos that I missed all the beautiful posts you've been putting up. But I couldn't have asked for a better jump start to studio work then to take in the amazing images of your last posts. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Your collecting as a child reminds me of my brother's rock collection and display.
    Yes, Lynne is very good at expressing herself. That's a great artist's statement.Lynne's assemblage reminds me of my mother's antiquing. This assemblage has a Victorian feel to it- not fluffy victorian- but the nuts and bolts and old medecine bottles Victorian.
    Lastly, I'm a great fan of your niche carvings. So glad you got permission to keep 'collecting junk.'

  5. Another great post, Robyn. The last piece made me gasp out loud - just gorgeous.

  6. My heart races when I see these assemblages. I always start thinking about what I have that could be displayed like this. I always wonder how you keep these items in these little niches. It all looks so neat and trim. I really like it when rocks are incorporated.

  7. absolutely wonderful! I love all the treasures and how they are displayed. I too have some gatherings but alas havent found a suitable box! . you are the best finder of treasures I know! thanks lyle

  8. what a wonderful post! oh, how i loved those assemblages by Romanowski- those are incredible! now i have to start thinking larger!

  9. This is such a wonderful display of talented work. Your carving and the details are just beyond phenomenal...are all the elements carved..including the rock? I love compartments, grids, checkerboard patterns and printer trays of which I have so many.. some filled with found objects and many waiting to be completed! Thanks again for the breathtaking inspiration.

  10. OMG Robyn...These posts continue to excite, enthrall and thrill me! Each post I think "that's it. She has found the best." But noooo, you keep finding more of the "the best."
    You have really got me thinking....And Robyn, I really do think this is the best contemporary art course I have ever taken! Thank you doesn't seem like enough, but it is all I have to offer.

  11. Loved the "White Pebble" ceramic

  12. Not junk! It's STUFF, it's INGREDIENTS, it's materials, tools, anything but junk. Mainly, it's just STUFF you have to have.

  13. These pieces all speak to me, not because I collect stuff, but because I like to see things compartmentalized in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Perhaps that's why a certain something hangs on my wall? :) Those Novie Trump pieces are also quite exquisite - must file those away in my brain as that could possibly fit into my realm of making art somehow, or better yet .... someday!

  14. I apologize if there are any comments missing but there's been a bx-lhziiw (??) error all day and a few comments were lost. Very grateful it's fixed!

    Lawendula, I really loved doing this post!

    Toni, what would we do without the joy of collecting "stuff" ?

    Curio, I've missed you. Glad you're back and I hope you're feeling inspired enough to start creating soon.

    Shayla, like I should need permission :-)

    Annie, Novie's pieces are so simple and almost zen like but they say so much don't they.

    Lisa at Greenbow, you must have plenty of little things to display. Just begin and see what happens.....Bet you become addicted! I use wire and screws and anything that seems right to keep the pieces in place.

    Lyle, even a cutlery tray can look good all dickied up.

    Kecia, I got very excited when I found Romanowski's work but then I also had palpatations finding all the others too.

    Thanks Lisa, no the rock isn't carved ..lol...but there are quite a few carvings there.

    Leslie, ...you've helped me so much with your life coaching skills,the least I can do is have enormous fun tracking down art that inspires me :-)

    Avus, there's a pureness about it isn't there?

    Susan M, what big eyes you have my dear.... all the better for finding stuff you just have to have.

  15. Robyn, Great tour, great quotes and great sharing of your own beginnings. Your childhood interests so very important to your art making.I visited Leonardo Drew's work...unbelievable!
    Thank you!

  16. What a HUGE coincidence-- a day or so ago I left a comment at Seth's Altered bits blog about Leonardo Drew--I saw his work in person a few years ago in NYC gallery. They are spectacular-- gigantic assemblages of old wood, rusty metal and weathered paper.. Obsessive comes to mind. I was blown away and found a book of his work online. Yesterday I got out the book and looked through it again.
    also love the other artists you featured here as well. again thanks for sharing.

  17. as usual I've been here longer then I have time for! just loved this and my favs are the works by Novie Trump - stunning :)

  18. You've made my day! I am familiar with the work of Leonardo Drew and it calls to me every time I see it. You have magnified that calling with the other artists' works you've collected for our viewing pleasure. I was really attracted to Lemoncholy's Typesetting Nature Box because it combines two loves for me. The quietness of "The Waiting" was a lovely leaving note to the post.

  19. I just love this way of displaying found objects Robyn - each time you put something like this on your post I am so full of admiration. Those Drew pieces are superb - but so are yours.

  20. Thank you for a most inspirational post.

    I wish I could say more, but looking at what you have posted I find myself contemplating of what I just witnessed.

    Thank you for sharing

  21. oh how i love nooks and crannies... a lot of nooks and crannies arranged together makes my pulse quicken... new ideas start bubbling to the surface... xo

  22. I love boxes filled with...stuff! As a child this was my favourite thing to do. I haven't grown out of it either! Thanks for posting these Robyn, treasure hunting through blogland is the next best thing to doing it in reality.

  23. The nooks and crannies are amazing, so interesting. I loved your work. Thanks for posting on this amazing art!

  24. Damn you, Robyn...I was just finally getting my collection of shtuff pared down a bit, and now I'm thinking maybe I need to keep all those various boxes and compartments that I've amassed over the years.

    Life sure is rough sometimes.

  25. i'm so drawn to collecting odd things to display in nooks and crannies. if only i had more free time. big sigh!

    the nature piece by deveney reminds me of the collecting my son matt did as a child -- animal bones, bottles, eggs, bird nests, broken glass, misc. pieces of metal. he was quite an interesting child.

  26. Heather, have a peep at Novie's site. There are a lot more beautiful pieces.

    Mary Ann, it's interesting to hear whether people take up their childhood interests in later life.

    Donna, this post has been in my mind for a while and your comment at Seth's nudged me.

    Jeane, it's so easy to waste huge chunks of time following links ....I know :-)

    Margaret, after the busyness of the other pieces I felt Novies work was a resting place.

    Thanks Black & White.

    Weaver, thanks so much.

    Egmont, there's quite a lot to take in. I've come back a few times myself to enjoy the artwork.

    Lynne, tell me about it! I get palpitations.

    Kim, I don't think we ever grow out of it .... oh dear

    Artist Unplugged, this post was a joy to do.

    Cynjon ... hee hee ... what can I say?

    Julie, time is a problem but these things just leap out and beg to be taken home ... so what can you do?

  27. WOW - I don't know Leonardo Drew but I know me and Yes - your work is gret! I love it. For years, I look at those items folk discard, and think that would be great next to another wondferul "find".

    You have made my day as well. Thanks so much for the inspiration and sharing your beautiful art.

  28. Nooks and crannies. Just the sound of these three words is a wonder. Fantastic selections you have chosen to highlight this theme. Had not been familar with Drew's work but I am blown away by it. Off to his website right now.

  29. Wonderful nooks and crannys! That is one of the things I love about your work. If I am not mistaken the word Niche is french for nest...sounds good to me! I swear...I would not eat for a month if it meant I could have a wonderful artwork like that nature box....wahoo! It's soul food!

  30. My comments are getting eaten today! VERY annoying.
    Anway...in brief I said that I love your post...one of the things I really like about your art is the nooks and crannys! I also said I wouldn't eat for a month if it meant I could have a wonderful nature box like that....oooohhh!

  31. Robyn, some of these pieces are like mini museums filled with the minute details of the history of decay and disposal and rust. You have to look and look and look.

  32. Leonardo's work is so cool.

  33. Awesome post...wonderful little curios in the nooks and crannies, sooo appealling.
    It does remind me of all the "treasures" I used to collect when I was little (I wish I had them now). I'm still a collector and find it so hard to throw things out.
    I need more boxes (wooden of course).

    Jacky xox

  34. I loved the little nools and was especially drawn to Novie Trumps work.

  35. Hi Robyn!

    I love the Thomas Edison quote, and how you describe "junkier junk." I don't know why but that was funny to me! Novie Trump's art is wonderful.

  36. What a nice post. The last one is simply wonderful :)

    Thoseghar Waterfall

  37. In the age of declutter the world must be an artists box of jewels!

  38. Where do you find all these people.So inspirational.Thanks so much.

  39. I didn't realise that so many people create assemblages of wonderful objects. It is like having lots of different art objects in one - so much to see and ponder over. I love the honeycomb appearing "Installation" by Leonardo Drew and I think the cavity with the egg in "The Waiting" is sublime. So utterly simple but I could look at it all day. Going to check out some of your links Robyn, with a cup of tea, starting with tacked.

  40. OMG...novie trump!! wanting.

    just got back from a resale shop where i'd seen a lovely little wooden tray, with all the compartments, ready to hang, and for $8. gone, of course. just saw it 2 days ago. one of those 'should ofs'....

  41. I ask myself what it is about boxes, containers and little niches filled with miscellany that appeals to me on so many levels. I love that it puts order to chaos; that the ordinary - an even trash - becomes extraordinary when taken out of it's original context. That's just a little of what I love about it. It makes my eyes smile.

  42. i haven't commented but have been fascinated by these past three posts; your links have sent me wondering and its wondering and adoring!

    i love these and the writing post! Enjoy the quotes, though i don't thing the "objects" have a hollowness but it is we who abuse and discard the resources; then some of us, you for instance, see the value in what is in want of re-souling...


    great post Robyn.

  43. I think it was on your blog that I saw the entire wall an artist had done. It was fabulous. Thanks for reminding me of it. These are so interesting...

  44. Susannah MacDonaldMay 24, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Great stuff! I was troling along researching for an assignment, when up came all your 'goodies'! What ingenuity! As one who slaps paint about and never notices junk, I'm boggled by what you create!

  45. Thanks for pausing to comment Susannah. I had forgotten this post but looking at all the fantastic pieces I found for the post stirs up my enthusiasm again. Leonardo's work always amazes me.

  46. I am glad I decided to go back and explore the nooks and crannies of your blog to dig out extraordinary finds - some of Leonardo Drew's work reminds me of the piles of old files in a government office here (I don't mean that in a bad way) or old shops in the heart of this city with their 100s of tiny shelves. It's fascinating- the textures, colour and ageing that has been made to happen.

  47. Awesome stuff! Particularly Leonardo Drew...had never heard of that guy before. Thanks for posting!