25 September, 2016

stop talkin’ trash.




Tossed aside.

….so I rescued it.

No, I am not talking about a lost puppy or a feral cat (I am not a ‘cat person’) or an injured bird (MOST definitely not a bird…see here)

I am talking about neglected items.

Things that get tossed to the curb. Thrown aside. Given away. Sold.

This year I have carried home the following:

A retro chair (I carried this onto the bus, places it in the aisle and sat in it … until I was told off – apparently Transport NSW does not allow you to BYO seats). It fit in perfectly with our decor, but unfortunately 24 hours later we found a colony of rapidly multiplying ‘strange looking bugs’. Needless to say so we got rid of it immediately.

An African drum – honestly this was the BEST score ever. It turned up one morning outside my door (amongst a pile of junk). It was like a gift from the universe. I immediately took it inside and started ‘playing’. ..Needless to say I was 45minutes late to work that day.


A spice rack – ok, this sounds disgusting, but to my defence, it was in a box and was (relatively) untouched. It also had a sign next to it: ‘we are moving house – please feel free to take’. I found it when I went for a ‘jog’ on a  ‘nice’ street in Milson’s Point. Needless to say instead of jogging I ended up carrying this beauty home. Come on! Us Indians can’t go past a spice rack….and a freebie.  And YES, it has been disinfected…thoroughly.


A loom – ok this wasn’t exactly ‘found’ but was adopted. It was being chucked away – so I rescued it. I soon realised why it was being chucked out. It was made in the 1950s and gave me LOTS of splinters. Needless to say, I gave it away…I think the neighbour used it as kindling for a fire.


A mounting board (with holes!)– this is my latest find and probably my most functional. I carried this 2m board all the way home – included x2 trains and a bus. Apologies to those who I accidentally and inappropriatley ‘tapped’ with the board (bottoms and heads – the board just kept touching people – it had a mind of its own). It now displays all my yarn in an organised way. See the before and after pic below:

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-9-53-11-pm        screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-9-53-54-pm

On a side note – some shameless bragging but this year alone I have won a K-cook (the ‘slightly poorer’ cousin of the thermomix), Gold Class cinema tickets and an $800 AirBnB voucher…just from writing poetry 🙂  You got to be in it…to win it.

You could say I am like a bowerbird – but I hate birds….so instead I perceive myself as the Brown Pirate girl, collecting her bounty on the streets of Sydney. I know it sounds hippy, but sometimes if you send a message out to the universe – it just provides.

Admittedly, I sometimes get embarrassed when picking up objects off the curb. I am scared people are judging me.

But as the old cliché goes; ‘one mans trash is another mans treasure’…garage sales, ebay, gumtree, facebook ‘buy swap sell’ – the success of these modern day platforms reinstate this  old adage. The value we place on objects shift with time. The infomercial ab-cruncher which we ‘enthusiastically’ use (for 2 hours), suddenly becomes trash…valueless. Kicked to the curb. Only until…someone else picks it up (and feels like they won the #fitness lottery). Ok, perhaps that was a really bad example – but you get my drift. Forever evolving…and revolving. Trash to treasure. Treasure to trash.

I always feel that when I ‘adopt’ something off the streets that I have not only received the physical object, but also the stories of that object. It saddens me that I will never know the ‘true stories’ behind the objects. But it also excites me to imagine the possibilities. For example; Who owned my African drum? Where did it come from? What was played on it? p.s. just to be clear – you will not be seeing me on the next ‘Hoarding’ reality TV show. I am in no way a ‘hoarder’…but I do like ‘finding’ things or should I say…. I thoroughly enjoy it when certain objects find me.

From upcycling to recycling to repurposing – no matter what it is termed …there is a whole movement around finding beauty in trash. So many artists and fashion designers are taking this to the next level and creating some truly mind-blowing works. I love the way in which they see beauty in decay.

I had a bit of a dig around and thought I would share some beauty ‘trash art’ . I hope you enjoy and it inspires you to view trash a little differently..

rubbish art

I just watched a documentary on Brazilian artist and photographer – Vik Muniz – the doco is called ‘Waste land’ – Muniz creates a body of work primarily using garbage from one of the biggest dumpsters in the outskirts of Brazil.

Above is one of his monumental portraits all made from junk & dirt…

(image via flavorwire)

rubbish art

Tom Deininger creates large-scale collages from found objects scavenged from trash and donated by friends.

(image via blogof)


It is all about perception…take a look at the shadow…amazing.

(image via mymodernmet)

green plastic and glass containers on black background

green plastic and glass containers….rubbish to some….a beautiful composition to others…

(image via zupi)


take a closer look…

photographer: alejandro duran

(image via zeutch)


‘El Barrio Bodega’, 2013, by Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown

Embroidered corner-store grocery bags. Rescued from the gutter; blowing down the street like city tumbleweed. I reclaim and elevate what once was discarded by creating embellished art objects. Growing up in Brooklyn and Harlem I’d visit my block’s bodega daily, with pennies in hand, and leave with priceless treasures. More than just bags, they reflect a sense of pride for my neighborhood and are a symbol of my cultural identity. (From the artist’s website).

(image via the fiber studio)

rubbish art

photo by the talented Mandy Barker – this image is part of her SOUP  collection – a description given to plastic debris suspended in the sea, and with particular reference to the mass accumulation that exists in an area of The North Pacific Ocean known as the Garbage Patch.

(image via mandy barker)


a 36 ft tornado of….trash 🙂

(image via laughing squid)


saved my favourite until last 🙂 Jans created a beautiful piece of art from a discarded tea strainer!

(image via jans schwester)

OK, I have to go – strata has organised an e-waste collection day tomorrow (seriously, I am not lying)….I need to go dig up my old DVD player.



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  1. Anil sheth says

    I enjoyed your blog on discarded treasures...this certainly does not come from Sheth genes...

    Continue your adventerous pursuit and you will discover your universe within....essence of happiness