This week’s Messenger column - Recycled Metal Art. I first met this week’s Artist, Rick Howarth at the Old Petrie Town Markets. I walked past his Respawned stall and stopped dead in my tracks. I wasn’t the only person Rick’s pieces had that affect on. As I was chatting to Rick about his art the stall filled up with others wanting to know more. I also wanted to know more about Rick and his colourful, recycled sculptures.
Have you always been an artist or do did you come from a trade background?
I come from a trade background (sheet metal worker) but did alright at art in school. I’ve been interested in metal art, recycled in particular, and always wanted to have a go someday. What made you follow this path?
Whilst in Alice Springs I started making homewares but was encouraged by Mike Gillam to have a go at some sculptures. Mick encouraged me to keep at it and try new things so I did/do. I regularly send him sculptures for his new fine art gallery. Recycled metal art is my first serious attempt at anything artistic to sell to other people.
What lead to your choice of using recycled metal?
Scrap metal is something I see a lot of in my work as a Sheetie and wanted to put it to good use. I use 100% recycled metal from local suppliers and services. I am not a hardcore greenie but have a great appreciation for the environment. What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?
Shiny bits in the bin inspire me and the desire to do something with them. I either know what I’m going to do or I start playing till I work it out. Sometimes when I see a lot of the same scrap, I think to myself, “what would that be good for?” Other times, I have a piece in mind and I keep an eye out for the right bits.
Is selling via markets different to galleries?
Yes, the markets bring more custom orders and commissioned work; also people love to talk to the artist face to face. I don’t have a click to buy on my website as I prefer a more personal approach, especially for custom orders.