Hoarders, the home version or my husband makes cool light fixtures
"What is it?" I've asked my husband hundreds of times over the past 24 years. "I don't know, but isn't it COOL?!" he replies. The item in question may have been purchased at an antique store, thrift store or yard sale, scavenged from a neighborhood dumpster or given by a well-meaning friend. It also likely has a fairly thick patina of dirt, rust and who knows what else and, you know, no conceivable earthly use. So, how could I not want it to come home to live with us?! And then I have the nerve to ask, "Well, what are you going to DO with it?"
An electrician by trade, Brian Allee's creative outlet used to be playing drums in jazz groups around Indy. A history buff, some time Civil War re-enactor, house restorer and lover of all things old and odd, he has lived in the historic Old Northside neighborhood since 1984. When carpal tunnel put an early end to his drumming, it was just a matter of time before he found another way to express himself. Years passed and he continued to bring home his "treasures," the boxes piling ever higher in the garage, basement and carriage house. Eventually, he began to experiment with creating light fixtures from some of the miscellany. It was kind of perfect, really - a great way to combine his interests and talents. And, okay, I'll admit it. The fixtures? They were really cool.
Of course, we just have the one house and even if he replaced each and every standard light fixture with one of his special, one-of-a-kind fixtures . . . well, let's just say there would be leftover parts--boxes upon boxes of leftover parts. (I don't want to use the word "hoarder," but the guy has an impressive collection of stuff.) So, when Brian was asked to create a body of work to show in the City Gallery in February, I was thrilled! I mean, I was reclaiming storage space in my head faster than you can say "packrat"!
The truth is, I was really excited, but mostly because this collection of discarded objects are being repurposed into beautiful, functional pieces of art and that more people than myself will have an opportunity to enjoy them. After all, I wouldn't want to hoard them. ; )
Admitting only a slight bias when I say this will be a great show. I hope you'll check it out! And if you see Brian on Friday, ask questions! He drew both inspiration and parts from urban Indy neighborhoods to create this work, so have him point out the electrical insulators and fuse holders from the Old Northside, the wood trim boards from Herron Morton neighborhood, etc. The list goes on, I promise. Relit opens this Friday, February 1st from 6 to 9pm at the Harrison Center's Black Light gallery opening.