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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sean E. Avery

Peregrine Falcon, Sean E. Avery
Personally, I'm a great believer in recycling. For economic reasons there's not as much of it going on today as in the past--mostly just glass and plastics. And even at that, the profit margins are desperately thin. In general, unless recycling occurs on a very large scale, items like paper and cardboard return very little on investments in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, most of it for equipment and infrastructure (and only then in large, metropolitan areas).
Sean E. Avery's animal sculptures from recycled CDs.
However, when it comes to art from recycled materials, profit margins mean little. The materials used are often incidental to the cost of the finished artwork. The most important factor seems to be that of the artist's adaptive creativity. Can the item be made relatively permanent (archival is the art term); is it malleable, and can it be made beautiful? Beyond that the material must be virtually cost free and readily available in reasonable quantities. Those sound like rather stringent limitations but in fact, any limitations have more to do with the artist's skill and ingenuity than the materials themselves.
Sean E. Avery and one of his iridescent pets.
I'm not sure what it is or what he calls it.
Sean E. Avery brings recycling to a whole new level. Not to be confused with the New York Rangers hockey player with the same name (minus the middle initial), this Western Australian artist is also a writer & illustrator of children’s picture books. But mostly he creates sculptures out of broken (or discarded) CDs. He also blends many different manmade materials together to make them appear strangely organic, with a distinct sense of movement. He considers his work as “sustainable" art.
Birds in flight, such as his suspended Humming Bird seem
to be among Avery's favorite subjects.
CDs come in a zillion different colors. A broken CD isn’t much good to anyone. In fact, CDs are becoming pretty much obsolete these days. However, in that they are iridescent on one side (usually silver or gold) while being painted in a whole palette of colors on the front, they constitute an ideal material for rendering fur, fins, and feathers. There's also the element of chance in that Avery seldom knows what will be available to for his use on any given day. At the same time, his animals’ colors are quite carefully chosen and impressing.
Though not exactly soft and furry, the CD shards are not
as sharp as they look. Applied with a hot glue gun to a wire
mesh, Avery notes that he's more likely to get burned than cut.
Mouse, Sean E. Avery
Although Avery enjoys making his plastic creatures, they take an extremely long time to finish, so he doesn’t do a lot of them. To make his sculptures, Sean uses scissors to cut the shapes from the CDs, then arranges each shard by color and size. From there, he glues the shards to wire mesh frames that are shaped like different animals. These old-fang-led, music-storing devices were always preferred over iPod tech-nology for their physicality, but Sean E. Avery takes that to new heights. The CD fragments’ sharp edges and iridescent glow make for the perfect untapped resource. And who knew CDs came in such diverse and eye-catching colors? Photos of Sean’s sculptures have been featured in print and screen publications all around the world. Many galleries and private collectors have commissioned him to build unusual and exciting pieces for them.

Displayed in their natural environment, Avery's sculptural wildlife with its naturally reflective qualities suggest both life and motion.
CD flower arranging.
In addition to his CD sculptures, Sean E. Avery is also a teacher, writer-illustrator, and designer. Born in South Africa, but now living in Perth, Western Australia, he was born in 1987 in Kimberly, South Africa’s Northern Cape, a small, dusty mining town home to one of the biggest diamond mines in the world. Sean’s father is a writer and his mother is an art teacher and sculptor, so he comes by his creative impulses quite naturally. Sean followed in his Mum’s footsteps when he became a teacher in 2013. He teaches at the Challis Community Primary School in Arma-dale where he is surrounded by a team of highly-trained, award-winning educational pro-fessionals. Sean’s greatest passion is pro-viding the best care for his students and in-spiring them to become independent, life-long readers. Sean studied graphic design at Cur-tin University of Technology. There he met a tutor named Jacque Shaw who inspired his passion for children’s picture book design and illustration. He landed his first, publishing contract with Fremantle Press in 2012 for his picture book, All Monkeys Love Bananas. The book is currently in its third printing having become a hit with children in Australia.

Pandamonium? Sean E. Avery
All Monkey's Love Bananas, Sean E. Avery


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