Shredding old paperwork is something we do because our accountant tells us to. At Metamorphic, you’ll find our office crew shredding old files while catching up on the Tour de France stage updates. First a crash into the deflated gantry then a reckless spectator – so much drama! Once we finish our shredding, we take those long thin strips and bag them up into a paper grocery bag for our recycling bin because we know we can’t toss those shreds in loose.
We feel we’ve done our part, using both sides of the paper and protecting any sensitive information by shredding the documents. However, a local Seattle artist and long time friend of Metamorphic, Cornelia Bremer Smith, takes upcycling to the next level. Cornelia is creating captivating pieces of artwork from this unusual medium. After shredding mostly old magazines and catalogues, she painstakingly slices them and arranges them into beautiful grids. In her long career as a graphic artist, Cornelia Bremer Smith has worked for publishing companies, design firms, the Utne Reader magazine and fashion retailer Nordstrom. Respect for the earth, concern for future generations and a shared pursuit of happiness are values that inspire Cornelia to create contemporary works of art that align with progressive, conscientious thinking. In moments of respite between her motherly duties, Cornelia meticulously sorts and one-by-one glues down uniform strips of recycled catalogs and magazines. In the process, she honors each piece and reflects on its production history, seeing infinite links to people, industries, resources and the planet we all share. Here’s a look at one of her finished patterns:
Her work is currently on display at Cafe Javasti in Northeast Seattle, 8410 5th Ave NE until July 15th. It’s difficult to understand just how beautiful recycling can be without seeing her work in person. What we didn’t appreciate at first glance is that these aren’t woven pieces but rather, meticulously cut and arranged in perfect symmetry. Her pieces are beautiful and framed in custom 1/2″ floating white frames. Congratulations on your innovative and stunning work Cornelia, and for making upcycling look so modern!
Cornelia’s mission is to continue to grow and learn and use her skills to connect with people who also cherish our planet and know that our collective actions and choices create The Big Picture. Cornelia has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In her home studio, she works on a 10-foot desk made from repurposed bowling lane floor. She lives in Seattle with her husband and their twin girls. Contact Cornelia Bremer Smith for private showings or for more information.