A Life Repurposed
My name is Maureen Bachmann and I'm an assemblage and mixed-media artist based in Regina, SK. After an 18-year career at Globe Theatre where I helped others to realize their creative dreams, I decided it was time to pursue my own. So I left Globe in 2017 to explore the world of visual art.
I dabbled in a few areas but fell in love with assemblage after taking an online class. I was fascinated with the idea of creating beautiful textures and stories with 3D objects rather than the flat mediums I had been working with. In order to get started I needed to gather my materials, but instead of buying an assortment of pretty new charms and embellishments at the local craft store I decided to be thrifty and use up some crafting odds and ends that I had accumulated over the years. I was very happy with my results and realized that what might be considered "junk" was now part of a beautiful piece of art. A quick look through some thrift stores and garage sales revealed that there was an abundance of used materials available and I quickly decided to focus on repurposing "junk" items into my art.
As I created more and more pieces I realized that a pattern had emerged, not so much in the aesthetic of the art I was creating but in the way my process seemed to run parallel to my own path through life. I began to think of my process as the three "R's" - rejection, revelation and reclamation. While the quality of the finished work is an important component of my art, the emotional process I go through to create it is equally important to me.
Rejection My materials come from thrift stores and garage sales, from my own junk drawers, and from donations of others. I repurpose canvases and other substrates whenever possible and find ways to incorporate items destined for the recycling bin into my art. All of these items have been rejected for one reason or another - they're out of style, they're broken, they no longer have any perceived value. But we all know, "one man's trash is another man's treasure."
Revelation One of the advantages in my process is not having to worry about the colour of my materials. So I buy lime green lace, orange beads, and purple flowers. Once I've assembled and glued the items onto the substrate, the result often seems to be a disjointed and quite frankly, unattractive mess. What gets lost in the cacophony of colour is the underlying form of the item and the patterns and textures it becomes part of. This is all revealed once I apply the first calming coat of black gesso and the playing field is levelled for all.
Reclamation There is immense satisfaction in creating something beautiful and desirable out of what was once an assortment of disregarded and unwanted items - items that have now reclaimed their worth and worthiness in this "everything's disposable" world.