The “Woven Car”

Turning a junk car into a piece of art: the “Woven Car” was made with versions of Corian® solid surface including recycled content.

Turning a junk car into a piece of art: the “Woven Car” made with Corian® solid surface

Take an old and rusty MG Midget, long past its usefulness as an automobile, and transform it from junk into a piece of modern art. This is what Jeanne Wiley and Ann Conte have just done in the USA with the “Woven Car” which debuted at South Shore Art Centre within an exhibit called Media Mix. Jeanne Wiley and Ann Conte found the early ‘60s model MG Midget in a neighbour’s backyard (it was being used to store firewood) and completely revamped it using recycled materials and man-made materials including recycled content to create an entirely novel, eye-catching design.

Wiley and Conte gave the car a woven basket look by using overstock car seat belt material (about 460 metres) to create a “woven cladding” for the car, which was then bolted onto the metal.

A ceramic artist with a weaving background, Wiley said that the project was all “about recycling, reusing, repurposing and sustainability.”

The artists collaborated with Joel Miller of Sterling Miller Designs Inc., a designer and fabricator specialising exclusively in creating products from Corian® solid surface, to create the interior of the car. Seats, floorboards and windshield frame were all created from the “Terra Collection,” a Corian® series made from recycled material available in the US market.

The car’s stick shift is a bouquet of hollow ceramic roses and flowers emerge from the instrument panel. Ann Conte, ceramicist and painter, made them by dipping live flowers in paper clay and created also ceramic tail lights, printed with psychedelic orbs of orange, red and yellow.

About Ann Conte - Ann Conte is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art. Her talents as a fine artist have been expressed in painting, ceramic sculpture, and fibre pieces. Her work is sometimes funny, sometimes ironic; even dark, and always emotional, because that's the way life is. Although Ann has a great appreciation for traditional landscape and still life painting, her own work has a more modern twist. Collage and found objects are used in conjunction with traditional painting techniques. This combination provokes the viewer into seeing the old, the new, and the discarded object with a whole new sensibility. “My objective is to take the ordinary and turn it into something mysterious and beautiful,” said Conte. “When I achieve that, it is truly satisfying.”

About Jeanne Wiley – “My body of work as a ceramics artist reflects my ongoing exploration at the border between what's considered art and what's considered purely functional, and my attempt to marry the two in new and unexpected ways,” said Jeanne Wiley. The result is a reinterpretation of traditional forms through unique combinations of utilitarian simplicity and sculptural aesthetics, and unique combinations of different media. Since being introduced to sculpture at Bennington College in Vermont, Wiley continued to develop her artistic skills in a wide range of media, always drawing on her early training in sculpture. She persisted at this pursuit even during and despite a professional career that ranged from motion picture development to web site production. Since 2000, she has devoted her creative energies to ceramics and weaving as exemplified by her latest undertaking– the woven car.