Retired plumber Andy Derbyshire has been turning other people’s junk into bespoke art pieces for many years, based in his Stanmore Bay workshop.
The workshop itself shows Andy’s eye for recycling, utilising doors bought for a few bucks on Trade Me as slide away partitions, along with dividers made of pallets. His work is in every nook and cranny – there is a Lego light and another made from a drum and tripod. Coloured vinyl records, that were a novelty item, particularly for American punk bands, have been turned into pieces that look like stained glass.
Andy is clearly a big music fan and much of his artwork features bands, album covers, recycled instruments and turntables.
He says it all started when he was plumbing and would pick up things that customers were throwing out. Rimu timber removed from bathrooms ended up as quirky picture frames.
His plumbing expertise and love of music came together in one job he did at the Whammy Bar in Auckland, where he designed and made toilets to look like amplifiers or ghetto blasters which, he says, stopped them being vandalised.
He has also done a lot of work for friends who own Real Groovy Records, including stools with tops like a stack of records and a giant backdrop that featured turntables.
Currently Andy works at Tile Space, which has also helped him find materials for his art pieces. The wheelbarrow he has turned into a seat for the Estuary Arts Upcycled Exhibition came from a Tile Space sales rep, who was going to throw it out. Together with a hairdressers’ chair he found at one of the Coast’s charity shops, Andy has made a seat that he says is inspired by the fact that in the UK, where he is originally from, wheelbarrows often doubled as ‘the smoko seat’.
Estuary Arts Upcycled Exhibition and auction features homeware, furniture, jewellery, fashion and artworks made from discarded or thrown out everyday objects.
The exhibition and auction are a fundraiser with proceeds going toward education wing equipment.
The exhibition runs from November 20-December 1. Auction items can be viewed from Wednesday, November 20 and the auction and opening function are on November 22.
Info and tickets to the auction/opening function: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rupert’s work includes furniture and sculptural pieces.
Design junkie works on show
One of the inspirations for the exhibition was the New Zealand TV programme Design Junkies, so the arts centre is particularly pleased to have obtained works from one of the ‘junkies’ themselves – Rupert Herring. Rupert says that recycling materials started as a necessity when he was a poor art student. “I was always a bit thrifty though – on the lookout for old things, skip diving and taking stuff that was left on the side of the road,” he says. “The interest for me – and the art – is seeing value in things that other people discard.” Rupert’s father was a joiner, and initially he followed in his footsteps, working as a carpenter and cabinetmaker and later studying design and visual art at Unitec. His main staple diet is turned wood such as old balustrades and newel posts, but also furniture components – pieces of beds or chairs. Rupert turns them into sculpture or remakes them into modern furniture. He is exhibiting a mix of furniture and sculptural pieces in the Estuary show. Currently he is making sets and props for a Jane Campion film called The Power of the Dog. “We’re making a 1920s house – it’s exactly what I love to do,” he says.