Mixed media upcycled collage
Arwen's collages make use of discarded or second-hand items by combining interesting finds in ways that communicate with poetic sensitivity. Second-hand objects already have a sense of history, by putting them together to tell a fresh story it enables them to been seen in a new way. She feels that this body of work has come about as an exploration of her own identity. Arwen is curious about how materials connected to her European ancestry can be given a Pacific-based feel. Having been born and raised in New Zealand she has felt somewhat disconnected from her European ancestry and also don't feel like she entirely belonged to South Pacific cultures either. 'I am not of Maori or of Pacific Island decent, I am a mix of both' she says. 'I want to understand how my ancestral and birth connections can fit together in a way that feels like me.'
10% of sold work will be donated to the local Helensville Recycle Centre to help pay staff—some work as voluntary help and those that are paid only receive funds from what is sold through the shop (open 3 days a week). The centre works to reduce waste to landfill by reusing, re-purposing and recycling as much as possible. It is run by Helensville Enterprises Trust, a local community trust. They focus on creating a circular economy, community empowerment, and jobs for local people.
Most collages are currently unframed, however Arwen can frame them for you in a white box frame. They look great on the wall or propped up on a mantle or cabinet.
If you're interested in the creative construction process — where the materials come from and ideas behind the work then follow Arwen on Instagram for updates @arwenflowerskiwiartist