Carolie’s Story – Inspired by Trash

Friends In Deed has been lucky enough to count many artists among its volunteers, but what has been a first for us is for an artist to use materials from the Food Pantry with which to create art!

Along with her volunteering at Friends In Deed, Carolie was teaching a sculpture class with Art Division, a non-profit organization dedicated to training and supporting underserved youth who are committed to studying the visual arts. She collected a bunch of packing materials from Friends In Deed’s Food Pantry – netting, boxes, styrofoam (often having to rescue them from the trash) – and took them for her students to use in their work.

The students made some wonderful sculptures, but in the process of making some demonstration pieces Carolie herself was inspired, and used the materials in her “Real Trash” series. You can see one of the results in the picture!

Carolie talks about the tension visible in her work – rounded, organic forms contrasted with more rectilinear shapes, the composition as a whole suggesting force and counterforce. She also discussed the tension between construction and destruction, and the way in which she has recycled materials that are consumed and then “spat out” by the system. In some ways this felt very familiar to us at Friends In Deed, in as much as it often seems like our clients have been consumed then spat out by society. The way in which Carolie brings new life to discarded materials feels reminiscent of our work as an organization.

A mixture of changing employment and living situations meant that Carolie has had to stop volunteering at the Food Pantry for the time being, but she values the time she worked with us, and we will welcome her back with open arms if she is in a position to volunteer again in the future!

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