Cut & Bent: Group Exhibition

Learn more about "Cut & Bent" in this interview with artist Jenny Fillius and BIMA curator Greg Robinson. Produced by Bainbridge Community Broadcasting.

Tin metal artists group show featuring:

  • Jenny Fillius
  • Nia Michaels
  • Ross Palmer Beecher
  • Deborah Paul
  • Kathy Ross
  • Loran Scruggs
  • Nan Wonderly

"Tin as an artistic medium is fairly unusual even though it has surrounded us for many decades.  With the surge in interest in environmental conservation, it is no wonder artists have found their way to contribute by recycling tins into artistic expression.

Each of the artists in this show have their own stories of becoming attracted to tin, discovering their own very personal methods of dealing with a difficult material, and, in the process, developing their own styles.  In learning more about these artists, it seems most of them are “obsessed” to some degree with the material. They seem to love the process of searching out tins and collecting them (hoarding?). They see some promising detail or color scheme that resonates with their personal vision, but not sure when or where any particular tin will come into “being” as an artwork. 

Tin Art, in the hands of these artists, while already being manufactured with bright graphic images, comes through as a reflection of our cultural and social past, though filtered and projected by each artist’s individual vision.  We all have a relationship with tin. As we look closely at these artworks, we will also tend to find our own past buried deep within these works."

- Bill Baran-Mickle, Guest Curator 

Artist Statements

"The work I create comes from my imagination. Anything can trigger an idea, an overheard expression, a story, something I see on the street or the tin itself; literally anything. These ideas get sketched out and eventually end up as artwork in recycled tin, or more accurately recycled decorative sheet metal. The images I create are bold, colorful, and often humorous. By re-purposing used metal food containers, gleaned from many sources, deconstructing them to be reconfigured into something other than their original form or intent, it becomes artwork as a still life or a narrative piece." - Jenny Fillius 

"I am drawn to the intricate patterns, the range of colors, as well as the effects of aging; the rust, dents, scratches and fading. The tins are flattened and snipped and assembled into pieces that combine appropriated commercial imagery from the past into something new. I often incorporate Civil War-era tintype photos. The contrast and balance of the colorful tins with the gray tones of the tintypes and the somber expressions of the tintype faces is an essential part of my compositions, often evoking a sense of nostalgia and melancholy that is central to my work. Choosing the perfect photo for each piece is a sort of casting call." - Nia Michaels

Ross Palmer Beecher is a Seattle mixed media artist. "...[Her] recycled metal quilts that are an utterly unique amalgam of folk art, Pop Art and engaged social-political art. They strengthen her image as an important regional contemporary artist, while also bolstering the notion that well-wrought materials are often better equipped to carry complex meaning than skimpy conceptual detritus." - Matthew Kangas, Visual Art Source 2014 - Ross Palmer Beecher

"My hunt for tins is endless. I love the colorful images printed on the tins. These visuals leap out at me. For each piece a theme develops as I study my tins. Colors, patterns and details are considered. The tins are dismantled by hand. They are pounded flat using a hammer on an old cutting board. I strive to preserve the unique features of the tins; the seam edges, natural wear and tear, pictures and words. The tins are cut to highlight these elements. Nothing is wasted. The cut shapes often incorporate the metal memory of the original manufactured shape of the tins. The cut pieces bend and curl accordingly. I capitalize on the reflective qualities of the metal playing with negative space, light and dark. Each piece I create changes as the lighting around it changes. Recycled and hand made tools are used." - Deborah Paul

"3-D art, globes, figures, house forms, toys, pockets, secret places, paradox (negative/positive, inside/outside, connected/separate). I like dark humor. Also light irony, certain puns. Here's what I am trying to do: move out of everyday fuzziness, open things up, turn the page, change the channel, make myself happy, make anybody happy." - Kathy Ross

"I love the colors, fonts and pictures found on painted tin cans and bottle caps. I've found most of my materials over the years, off the streets of large cities, garage sales and kind people. I love giving items a new life liberating the recyclable to a place of value once more. I am interested in joy. Color is joyous for me so I use painted tin cans for their color and glint. A lot of my work reference childhood and play, for myself play is a time of being in the moment, no past or future worries, a time of joy." - Loran Scruggs

"My work examines and challenges the way we communicate about human bonds. It is informed by my background as a linguist, artist, feminist and traveler...Use of recycled or repurposed objects as my chosen medium reflects my geo-political beliefs, and commitment to our environment. Our rampant consumerism drives global manufacturing of synthetic, disposable products, often in deplorable labor conditions, which quickly become non-degradable waste. Using discarded objects and giving them another cycle of life, with a minimum of newly manufactured chemicals, is satisfying to me." - Nan Wonderly


Guest curator: Bill Baran-Mickle

2015 Exhibitions sponsored by:


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