Jonathan Stone for Art-Sheep
If you’re the kind of person who holds on their old electronic devices even if they’re good as dead, this is definitely for you.
Julice Alice Chappel is a Portsmouth, UK-based artist who makes beautiful miniature sculptures from circuit boards found inside discarded electronics. It’s a revival process, as the artist breaks down the pre-existing materials and gives them a new life and purpose, by reinterpreting them as beautiful insects.
Her inspiration came years ago when she saw big box of tiny electronic components at the Beneficial Foundation in Portsmouth, otherwise known as the “The Craft Bank.” The organization was gathering unwanted “hidden treasures” in order to give them to schools, artists and community groups. “The first thing that came into my head when I looked at them was, ‘a mass of tiny bodies and legs…ants!’ I took them home to my children and we made ants,” Chappell says.
During her Fine Arts degree program she realized that she can use found objects in her artwork. Getting involved with environmental art and working with many artists she came across a couple of them who were then creating life-size robots with circuit boards from computers. When they dropped their project, Chappell took home the circuit boards as she found them “so visually appealing.” The idea for the electronic insects came while watching a nature program on bio-diversity and she began creating her various bug sculptures using her newly found circuit boards.
The artist hopes her series Computer Component Bugs, will raise awareness about environmental waste, “The recycled bits of cultural refuse that are woven throughout my work represent a direct encounter with the excesses of modern living highlighting the dangers of planned obsolescence and e-waste in the environment. The work displays an aesthetic beauty whilst offering a socio-political discourse, attempting to reclaim waste and the destruction of the natural world, in the beauty of visual art.”