Tissue paper, sales receipts, plastic ribbon, caution tape, newspaper delivery bags, and other recycled materials combine to make up the artistic palette used by Constance Old. Constance began her art career twelve years ago by making collages using old magazine paper scraps until she became exclusively engaged with recycled plastic and paper. The underlying theme of recycling that flows through her work grew from her childhood. As a child in the 70’s Constance was able to take part in the first Earth Day, a day that impacted all of her work to come. Being able to reuse materials was the answer for Constance in her struggle to both physically and mentally overcome the materialist society growing around her.
This Connecticut-based artist received her degree in graphic design from Yale University, and her artwork significantly reflects this background. Her work is compositionally arranged with attention to color, medium, shape, and size to form an aesthetic contemporary style of art. A true master of mixed media art, Constance Old, continues to amaze viewers with her use of unconventional materials as she transforms them in to beautiful fine art rugs.
She describes her work stating, “I use the traditional women’s craft of rug hooking to make pieces out of three dimensional ‘found color,’ using in particular obvious symbols of our consumer economy like sales receipts and assorted recycled plastic…I hook any consumer detritus that can be rendered into a fiber…. Living in a time of material excess, it intrigues me to work in a medium that originated from need and a scarcity of materials. I see my work as both timeless and an index of our time. It is inspired by, uses, and elevates the everyday.”
As a contemporary female artist, Old has elevated the traditional “women’s work” of rughooking to the world of high art. Her rugs are non-functional artworks mounted in plexi boxes to be hung on the wall. The combination of a traditional craft technique with contemporary and recycled materials set her work aside from the other fine art collection on exhibit at Harvest Gold Gallery and is definitely worth seeing in person. Because the identity of her materials is not obvious, as they are transformed through her process of rughooking, it often takes a second and much closer look at her work to truly discover the hidden message each piece entails.
This work among a variety of different paintings, sculptures, glass art, and fine gold jewelry from the Harvest Gold collection can be viewed at Harvest Gold Gallery in Center Lovell, Maine. The gallery is open daily. Visit our website at (www.harvestgoldgallery.com) for upcoming events and artist news.
"Exit 42 Sampler, Pamela" styrofoam thread off truck on Merritt Parkway, gift wrapping, & string