Born from the detritus of a multitude of memories, each Kitty Calvert original is created using vintage, upcycled, recycled, lost, found and discovered treasures. In a new exhibition at Red Galley this April, Kitty aims to delight her audience with mischievous frivolity and quirky humour.
The inspiration for Kitty Calvert’s unique one-off sculptures, comes from a love of vintage and a desire to re-use and recycle unique pieces of discarded treasures. Evoking cherished memories of childhood and making new cool stuff out of old cool stuff.
We invite the viewer to reflect on the potential journey each piece has made to its final resting place inside the sculpture. In today’s world where things are designed with obsolescence in mind, we find there is a hankering for things that last.
Sometimes these are things from our past… maybe things we let go of years ago or things that were lost or misplaced as our lives evolved and we “grew”. Those treasured toys and games, those once best friends we could not get to sleep without.
A biscuit tin from our mother’s kitchen, a colourful funnel and ice cream scoop or a metal sieve, something that meant dessert was on its way, or that there was something delicious in the oven. Where did all those things go?
Why are they now considered rubbish to be consigned to the tip, the garage or at best the op shop! Such things of beauty, often so carefully and artfully constructed at a time when things were made to last.
With the sculptures, we have given them a new life. Seeing the pieces recycled, revived and restored, reimagined, reborn and reinvigorated in a way that brings new joy to a new audience. Often when we discover one treasure, we have no idea how it will combine with the others to create its new persona.
It comes together in an almost magical process as one piece “speaks” to another and another until we see the unfolding possibility of the sculpture. It makes us laugh and share stories and sometimes even feel a little sad.
Ultimately there is such joy in the process of creating as each sculpture rises from the collection of found and gathered objects and appears in its new form, with a new lease of life, a new personality and a brand new spirit.
No two sculptures are the same, each unique piece speaks to the individual of many things. Our aim is that the sculptures give you fond memories of simpler times and transport you on your own magical journey of memory.
Each piece has been left in its original found state. The patina, paint, dents, scratches, bruises, “bed hair” and dirt are all part of the history of each piece that comes together to create an original Kitty Calvert.
In a world of mass consumption, Kitty Calvert is a collaboration of treasure hunt and treasure build, between Melbourne based husband and wife, Phill Calvert and Julia Brampton.
Julia developed a passion for vintage toys at birth (they weren’t vintage at the time), just the things she played with every day… at the age of 12, she was one of Sydney’s Paddington Markets first and youngest stallholders, continuing to trade in vintage ephemera at various markets and street fairs around Sydney.
Phill learned how not to “strangle” a hammer around the age of 3, along with a good method for whacking things, which stood him in good stead in his future career as a drummer. His father taught him how to make and fix things “proper” and about how to use tools and build stuff.
Fast forward to today and together they are Kitty Calvert, lovers of vintage, recycling, upcycling, re-engineering, one another (and margaritas). Viewing the pieces of treasure used in each sculpture as memory carrying vessels, transporting one to a time in the past where things were built to last this series is a reflection of this journey of not only each individual piece but the concept of time and memory.
Kitty Calvert Assemblage Sculptures
Red Gallery, 157 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North
Exhibition: 15 April – 2 May 2021 (Thursdays to Sundays: 12.00pm to 5.00pm)
Image: Kitty Calvert Sculptures (supplied)