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In the Press

Click on the links below to read a selection of articles covering David Edgar and his work.
The format of the article is also noted.

Ziggy Nixon blog, Sep. 29, 2009 [external link]
NC Boating Lifestyle, June 2008 [pdf]
Charlotte Magazine, March 2007 [pdf]
Charlotte Observer, Feb. 5, 2007 [pdf]
Boston Globe, Feb. 3, 2005 [text]
City Beat (Cincinnati), Aug. 10, 2005 [text]
Charlotte Observer, Apr. 22, 2005 [text]

 

 

Boston Globe
February 3, 2005

Talking trash

by Linda Matchan

Our home lives are consumed not just by acts of domesticity, but objects of domesticity. We rely on the most pedestrian of artifacts to help us survive our daily routines: detergent bottles, lunch bags, coke cans, orange crates, stir sticks.

More often than not, they end up in our trash bins. But now, an exhibit called ''Trashformations East" at Brockton's Fuller Craft Museum, is elevating the status of the debris of daily life. It showcases the work of 106 East Coast artists who see treasure in trash and have assigned it a higher calling, from old slide carousels and empty CD boxes to worn-out oven mitts and plastic newspaper delivery bags. ''I think artists see creative possibilities in all kinds of materials, and when those materials are free, there is no risk in experimentation, no fear of the proverbial blank page," says Lloyd Herman, the show's curator. ''Some of this material is not necessarily beautiful as trash, but it becomes more interesting when we see what artists do to make it into something else."

Oddly, a significant number of the artists are middle-aged and older. Artist Diane Savona says she's not surprised. ''You have to get to that certain age where you can appreciate the fact that something does not have to be new to be of value," Savona says.

Trashformations East

DAVID EDGAR, 51, Charlotte, N.C.
PRIMARY TRASH SOURCE: Used detergent bottles
TRASH TALK: ''For 25 years, I worked primarily with fabricated steel. But last February, in connection with the Super Bowl, I made a plastic mask for the Panthers out of this plastic bottle; I happened to have a detergent bottle that was the Carolina Panthers' color. I was struck with the ease and enjoyment of working on this material. The detergent world seems to be the material that presents itself to me. ''We have a very good public recycling program here and every Tuesday morning people put their recycleables on the curb. My wife and I are prone to take a constitutional walk every morning, and Tuesdays we select plastic bottles. It's the full range -- it's Cheer, it's Tide, it's Downy, it's Snuggle. There's a nice range of colors involved.''

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City Beat
August 10, 2005

Look here!: Art, Artists, Etc. - Manifest Creative Research Gallery

By Julie Bernzott

Not only does it give you a mental (and environmental) shake, Green: Works of Environmental Consciousness, now at MANIFEST CREATIVE RESEARCH GALLERY (2727 Woodburn Ave., Walnut Hills) offers a stunning array of artists and media with its message. In the closing show of the gallery's inaugural season, Manifest offers a mix of local and national artists who've created works in response to environmental issues. The result is one that at first seems incongruous, but somehow manages to flow together and sustain the theme. The exhibition features charcoal, graphite, acrylic, collage, computer prints and a variety of non-traditional media as well. You can't miss artist CARRIE DICKSON's piece, "Drift": It hangs from floor to ceiling, cutting the room in half and forcing examination. Constructed entirely of discarded plastic packaging that Dickson collected for five years, it resembles a tapestry, albeit a strange one; she has cut the bags into smaller pieces and woven them together to create a large "plastic quilt," complete with the multiple colors and inherent detail expected in a quilt. The effect is captivating, yet also somber, as it references the unimaginable waste of human society. SUSAN KIRBY seeks a similar effect with two pieces that use plastic traps, wood, acrylic and wire to depict the freakish abnormalities that affect frogs when exposed to environmental change or chemical substances. On a lighter note, artist DAVID EDGAR uses our fascination with plastic and products to create a new medium: "Rainbow-Headed Handletail" is a colorful fish created from bottles of laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid, for an effect that is both striking and ingenious. Edgar has created an amusing "household items collage" with this fish while still commenting on the growing destruction of our natural environment. Green captivates and comments at the same time: a truly impressive combination. Through Aug. 12.

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Charlotte Observer
April 22, 2005

Soap bottles morph into aquatic critters

by Richard Maschal

Last year, David Edgar got hit with a new idea.

A sculptor who had worked with steel for 25 years, he began cutting up plastic bottles to make art. You know the stuff, HDPE (high-density polyethylene), that nearly indestructible material used for detergents such as Tide and Wisk.

Edgar, who directs the master of arts in arts administration program at UNC Charlotte, created what he calls "Creatures from the Plastiquarium." They're swimming in uptown Charlotte right now.

Two vitrines in the outer wall of Hearst Tower on North Tryon, the Sixth Street side facing the main library, burst with colorful, funny critters such as the arm and hammerhead, made from a container of the stuff.

Edgar searches recycling bins for raw materials. He combines them ingeniously, using color, bottle caps, and strips of clear plastic to create fish, crabs and jellyfish.

A painted background and plastic scraps used to form a sea floor create an aquatic environment.

What a hoot!

And serious, too.

Art from found objects is a well-established Modernist tradition.

And there's irony here as well.

These plastic containers, as well as chemicals bottled within, are gunking up the environment, making life more precarious for the sea creatures Edgar mimics -- and for us.

First you smile. Then you frown.

Edgar's exhibit is presented by the McColl Center for Visual Art, a worthy effort to get art out to the people. Edgar is a summer affiliate artist.

He will change out the work on May 14, and the new work will remain up until July 6. It can be seen anytime.

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