Reclaimed for Art

The third week of January 720 King Access turned the lobby into an art gallery with sculptures from two Ontario artists who specialize in turning waste into something beautiful.

Marco Barokoski – Ubiquitous: Fire Sculpture

(Based in Guelph, ON)

Marco BarokoskiItems, once used for their intended purpose are now regarded as nothing more than waste, and can be found in large quantities by looking in the right place. The two materials employed in this piece; the fire extinguisher and wooden scraps, embody the ideals of repurposing as omnipresent, plentiful and under-utilized materials.

The fire extinguishers, extracted from a mountain of used cylindrical tanks at a local scrap yard are a product that claim space in ALL safely outfitted residential, commercial and industrial buildings. There is no ‘second life’ for these steel lifesavers, other than the scrap heap. Wooden scraps are a material used to protect and secure products in the shipping and transportation industry. Here the scraps are repurposed to form the ‘base of the fire pit’.

Marco’s sculpture was the winner of the 2011 CaGBC Envirosculpt Award. For more info, visit:

“The sculptures serve as a beacon, signaling that we need to recognize opportunities from the past rather than predict availability in the future.”

Ruta Wilson – Creative Creatures

(Based in Owen Sound, ON)

Ritu WilsonBy keeping the integrity of the original metal, you can recognize the components but see the transformation of pieces of metal into whimsical characters and animals with individual personalities. The shape of these pieces will often show what it is meant to become, while other times starting with an idea and then finding the pieces that satisfy the intent. In this way, creating a piece becomes interplay between the artist and the scrap pile.

Working with discarded metal gives a glimpse of the past-giving it life again, when it no longer serves its original purpose. Blurring the lines between organic and mechanical forms when creating a piece, the artist is able to appreciate and be inspired by the shape, colour, and texture of ordinary things others would overlook or dismiss as uninteresting.

Ruta’s Work can be found on her website:

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