Artist creates treasures from recycled materials

May 19, 2021

Artist creates treasures from recycled materials

Lyn-Marie against her vibrant self-sewn backdrop. Photo: supplied

An Auckland artist is using recycling to create artworks she says are teaching people to re-love, reuse, recycle.

Artist and proud owner of Dizzie Pixie Designs Lyn-Marie Harris, 42, says she hopes her art inspires people to recycle things rather than bin them.

“There is so much every-day recycling which people don’t realise can be made into something beautiful.”

Dizzie Pixie Designs is based in Mount Albert, where Harris collects materials that can’t be used anymore and turns them into inspirational pieces of art.

Harris has been recycling plastic, clothes and jewellery for the past nine years, selling her designs at markets around New Zealand.

She’s made backdrops for fashion shows, stores, bars and runs numerous community-based events.

Harris cooperates with creative agency Fresh Concept, which works with both local councils and the private sector in Auckland to bring a sense of community to an area. Together they have worked in events at Silo Park, 38Hurstmere, and recently Smales Farm.

Fresh Concept general manager John Sutton says Harris’ charity-based work presents positive opportunities for communities.

“She’s a natural at engaging with different people in different communities. There’s so much wastage out there so it’s good she has the angle of up-cycling, and her workshops always result in high quality products.”

Hide and tweet’ creation hung in Smales Farm. Photo: supplied

A Fresh Concept event Hide and Tweet, initiated by Harris recently, saw artists and local students decorating 25 bird houses built out of recycled material. They’re now on display at Smales Farm as a way of teaching the public about native birds and their habitats, while being environmentally friendly.

Teaching children to "re-love, reuse and recycle" is one of Harris' goals, running an art workshop and teaching children to weave dream-catchers out of broken or unwanted materials.

Harris says future generations should have more knowledge on what can be created from recycling, rather than buying products brand new.

“Even a ripped up t-shirt can be made into something beautiful . . . you can stitch it onto a bag, you can screen-print it, you can draw on it.”

Harris says that you don’t have to be good at art to create.

“Once you start you don’t want to throw stuff away because you think, 'Oh, maybe I could make that out of that.’ You kind of start seeing the beauty in things you throw.”

She is currently doing a 100-day challenge where the public can pay a small donation for her to draw a picture of their choice, with the profits going to Auckland Down Syndrome Association (ADSA) to use on healthcare.

The 100 artworks will be on display through her Instagram and Facebook accounts.

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