Combining reclaimed furniture and art, the ReFound artists collective has been busy transforming found furniture into functional one-offs, and the results will be on display and for sale during a five-day event that runs from Thursday 7th – Monday 11 October.
Jill O’Neill, ReFound’s founder, was inspired to create a space where the numerous objects she had picked up while living in Scotland, America and London could find a new life.
Back in Belfast, she set about collecting artists to transform these unwanted, past-their-prime-pieces and the result was her first pop-up shop in June.
Furniture found in auctions, markets, car-boot sales or given by friends is given to a ReFound artist to be restyled with a more contemporary feel.
Belfast photographer Marion Hawkes, whose work will be on show at the latest pop-up, stumbled across the first ReFound and knew she had to get involved.
“The idea was really cool to me, turning old junk into shiny new things of beauty,” says Marion. “Jill is very enthusiastic about what she does and her energy rubs off on you, so I was eager to take part in next ReFound project when it was announced.”
Marion’s two pieces are indeed things of beauty (pictured above and left), and we especially love her ‘travel trinket shelf’, originally a nondescript spice rack that has been turned into something both meaningful and lovely to look at.
“I love to travel, I love to pick up random keepsakes and I’ve recently taken up cross stitch, hence the travel trinket shelf,” explains Marion. “I took an old 1950s map and covered the wood, varnished it, then cross stitched an old travel quote and some world-famous landmarks, as well as the Belfast big fish.”
Her other piece ‘Homage to Bert‘ has strong sentimental links to both Northern Ireland’s history and the life of one of its sons. “Being a photographer I love to collect anything remotely related to the genre, old photographs being one of them,” says Marion.
“I recently found a big dusty pile of photos at a local auction house that deals with houses clearances. There was one chap in all the photos, his name was Bert Gilpin.
“I was really taken with Bert’s story. He had lived a life...been in the navy, posted out in Asia during the war, spent many years in Canada, came home, had kids, settled in Lisburn and had a passion for cricket. I wanted to give Bert a new lease of life, so I decided to make a collage using a lot of his images. The piece I got was a little table/step, very dinky and adorable, so I layered the top with various photos, a dab of paint and a lot of varnish. On the underside I painted one of my favourite photography quotes which I found very apt in Bert’s case…”your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees – Paul Strand.”
The result, as we’ve said, is stunning – go see it for yourself.
There are 34 artists in the current ReFound residence and you can find the five-day pop-up event #2 (housed in a previously empty shop) at 21 Belmont Road, Belfast, from noon-6pm Thurs 7th – Monday 11th October.