Using Found Objects – The Sculptures of David Kemp

It’s impossible to look at these dogs and not smile.

They are one of a number of public sculptures by artist David Kemp. Kemp makes sculptures out of found or discarded objects. He describes his work rather charmingly as follows: “I make things out of things, big things, little things, old things and new things. I like to recycle things, and find new uses for things that have been thrown away. Some things say something about their surroundings, and other things become something else.”

The dogs above are made out of old Wellington boots. The sparkling water plants below are made out of discarded water bottles.

Art using re-cycled materials or found objects is becoming much more common. We have previously covered in this blog jewelry made from recycled materials by Tonya O’Hara and Jeremy Mays. As more of these objects appear, they continue to reinforce in our collective minds that, in Kemp’s words, things can become other things. Kemp’s work in particular also emphasizes that objects don’t have to come out of a factory spanking new made out of fresh material to be beautiful, engaging and charming.

It’s a long haul to move our cultures back to a culture of re-use from the present culture of single-use disposability. But moving in that direction may eventually lead us to what some have called the circle economy.

Below a sculpture made out of obsolete industrial machinery.


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