Tag Archives: recycling

Poetry Bombing & Stuffed Animal Rugs by Agustina Woodgate


Artist Agustina Woodgate has been sewing quotes into secondhand clothes to bring ‘poetry to everyday life’


Residents of Miami have been getting a little something extra with their charity shop purchases after artist Agustina Woodgate began surreptitiously sewing tiny pieces of paper carrying lines of poetry into the city’s thrift store clothes.

Describing her project as “poetry bombing”, the Argentinean artist nonchalantly enters Miami’s charity shops with needle, thread and scissors, and quickly sews a short quote into a piece of clothing without – she hopes – staff noticing. Skirts are targeted with the Sylvia Plath quote, “Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts”, while the Li Po extract, “Life is a huge dream / why work so hard?” has been mainly sewn into trousers.

“The idea is to generate a surprise for the future buyer. Read the brand of your new suit and next to it find a little message,” said Woodgate, who has sewn 500 labels into clothes so far. The clandestine project is part of the poetry festival O, Miami.


“Sewing poems in clothes is a way of bringing poetry to everyday life just by displacing it, by removing it from a paper to integrate it and fuse it with our lives. Sometimes little details are stronger when they are separated from where they are expected to be,” she said. “Places and objects are alive, we make them alive, they tell our stories and tales. Sewing poems in clothes in a way is giving the garments a voice.”

So far, says Woodgate, “the reception has been great. People really enjoy it. And they actually do smile.” Once a customer even got angry on her behalf after spotting her sewing and finding out she wasn’t being paid for it, but she has been thrown out of two stores. “I did get kicked out twice, but it’s fine – there are so many [charity shops],” said Woodgate. “Most of the time, they can’t even imagine that there is someone around sewing poems. It’s harmless.”

Currently in Berlin, Woodgate is now hitting the German capital’s shops with her needle and a new collection of tags bearing the quote “Wissen spricht. Aber Weisheit hört zu”, the German translation of the Jimi Hendrix quote “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens”. She’s just looking at targeting charity shops so far, but is considering “plane seats, or even table cloths from restaurants – why not? The idea is to get the message out.”



Video by Jacob Katel

Agustina Woodgate

via guardian.co.uk | by Alison Flood


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Derick Melander

Derick Melander


I create large geometric configurations from carefully folded and stacked second-hand clothing.  These structures take the form of wedges, columns, walls and enclosures, typically weighing between five hundred pounds and two tons.  Smaller pieces directly interact with the surrounding architecture.  Larger works create discrete environments.

As clothing wears, fades, stains and stretches it becomes an intimate record of our physical presence.  It traces the edge of the body, defining the boundary between the individual and the outside world. 

The clothing used for these works is folded to exact dimensions and attention is paid to the ordering of the garments.  For example, the sequence can relate to the way we layer the clothing we wear or the clothing can be sorted by color, gender or by the order that it was received.  Individual components are often connected together with shirt sleeves, pant legs and belts forming bridge-like appendages.

For me, the process of folding and stacking the individual garments adds a layer of meaning to the finished piece.  When I come across a dress with a hand-sewn repair, or a coat with a name written inside the collar, the work starts to feel like a collective portrait.  As the layers of clothing accumulate, the individual garments are compressed into a single mass, a symbolic gesture that explores the conflicted space between society and the individual, between the self and the outside world.

Press Quotes

“Derick Melander surprises with a stunning circular sculpture made of stacks of folded secondhand clothing.  It raises, in my mind, all kinds of questions about affluence, idealism, social mobility – the kind of things that clothes signify in our culture.”
-Benjamin Genocchio, The New York Times, January 1, 2006

“The painstakingly folded and architecturally stacked works of Derick Melander form ramparts, coliseums, and rubble in a separate alcove of the exhibition.  Melander’s accompanying preparatory drawings suggest plans for structures made of stone and logs.  But when his plans are fleshed out, they are tenderly, interdependently built instead from cast-off clothing.  For Melander, these building components are amassed surrogates for society. 
-Deborah McLeod, Baltimore City Paper, December 13, 2006

“…The iconic work of the show is Derick Melander’s “Grasp II,” a partially open circle comprised of layers of stacked clothing over six feet high.  Peaks of denim, argyle, stripes and straps can be seen in an effort to express the dynamics of social networks and to define boundaries within relationships.  Given the size and character of this sculpture, along with its ability to interact with the viewer, it commands a captivating presence within the art space.”
-Geraldine E. Vincent, The Two River Times, December 23, 2005

via booooooom!


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Scarp by Jarod Charzewski

Jarod Charzewski’s exhibition titled Scarp opened at the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art on September 5th 2008. This installation project encapsulates North America’s consumer culture which leads to overcapacity landfill sites.






A precise wooden and cardboard armature held up the 5000 articles of clothing.

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