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Arts

Cardboard: Capable of Far More Than You Realize!

Posted by Greg / May 25, 2009

MeErica2.jpgWhen I first heard about Erica Brisson's Free Fold project in Place Henri Dunant this past weekend, I was confused and intrigued. She promised, "A demonstration of cardboard's amazing potential to create strong, beautiful home furnishings," offering passersby the chance to participate and take home a piece of the art. What would I find there? An interactive sculpture garden? A furniture building workshop? And seriously, furniture made from cardboard?

I had to check it out, and I'm so glad I did. While the project appeared rather unassuming at first glance, only because it wasn't much of a "sculpture garden," after chatting with Erica for a while and viewing the works more closely, I came away with a transformed notion of do-it-yourself furniture and the possibilities of creating practical items out of waste.

What made her work especially interesting, to me, was that she used patterns readily available on the internet. A quick google search for "cardboard furniture" will reveal countless websites devoted to this particular craft with open instructions that anyone can follow. Granted, Erica probably built hers far better than I could, being an actual artist and all, but I still love the democratic element to it.

The furnishings you can find online aren't exactly shabby, flimsy, or simple, either. When I sat on a chair Erica had constructed, I was worried it would collapse beneath me, but was shocked to find it completely sturdy and comfortable. I also crawled inside of the large dome and had flashbacks to the fort building of my childhood. Other pieces she showed me, in a book of uncopyrighted patterns from the 1970s, crossed into the realm of high art, with home furnishings by none other than Frank Gehry. Now it's driving me a little crazy knowing that the only thing keeping me from having authentic Gehry work in my own apartment is my clumsiness with cardboard.

Above all, this is what stuck with me: the knowledge that we can do anything with the materials in our everyday lives with enough creativity and work.
Closeup.jpg
Erica Brisson can be found on the internet here
The project was sponsored by Montreal art centre, Dare-Dare
Thanks to Julie Larsen for taking photographs

Discussion

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