Part 3 “Reclaimed Youth” a sustainable installation

Did you miss parts 1 & 2 of this fascinating behind-the-scenes series? Here they are – Part 1, Part 2

Reclaimed, reusable and recyclable

It seems we have very much become a throwaway society, with little regard for the long term consequences on our environment. I created Reclaimed Youth to show how beautiful something can become when given a second life, and the simplicity and optimism of the childhood playground felt like the perfect setting.

Practically all of the items used in this display are reclaimed AND reuseable.

I (literally) stumbled upon the old steel slide up in Bendigo along with the galvanised bin and the rusted old children’s trikes were also found out in the country.

The iron fence, timber and rope were all found in a junkyard, while the cement sheeting off-cuts were salvaged from a timber yard and backyards throughout Melbourne (of course none of it contained asbestos).

I picked up the recycled bricks from a local second-hand building supplies place and even the paint was a mis-tint at the local hardware store.

True to my sustainability principles, so many of these items will be reused again in the future, the iron sheeting, timber, rope and slide were all returned to the recycling centre, ready for their next adventure. The tyre and cable spool were returned to their stores for proper recycling and the bricks have found a new home as part of a wood-fired oven at a local community garden. Many of the cut flowers and potted plants will be enjoyed in gardens for years to come.

That’s right – even some living parts of the display were designed to be reused… the lotus heads are drying out to be used in my future arrangements, the green and burgundy aeoniums – although cut from their parent plants – will happily regrow once planted directly into the ground, and the carex were potted plants so they too will thrive when planted out.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into the background of Reclaimed Youth. Remember – as well as the satisfaction of keeping most of the display out of landfill, my dedication to sourcing reclaimed, reuseable and recyclable items also saved me lots of money – and who wouldn’t be satisfied with that?

Next week I’ll be bringing you a SUPER SPECIAL SURPRISE – can’t wait to share it with you!