British designer Karen Ryan has assembled objects and furniture found in American thrift stores and warehouses to make five new compositions.
Called Custom Made U.S.A, the series incorporates an old television, baseball gloves and second hand books.
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'Custom Made U.S.A'
Chicago 2010 series No.1
Custom made U.S.A started with an invitation from Balloon Contemporary in Chicago to come over and make a collection of 'Custom Made' chairs using furniture that was left behind, unwanted in Converso's old warehouse.
I spent two weeks in Chicago in another warehouse, making several trips to the Salvation Army thrift stores where I found other pieces of furniture I wanted to use.
Along with the furniture I selected I also included an old television, a see saw, a card board box and bag of old base ball gloves, a second hand copy of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Little Women, a bunch of small old keys and some red blanket material.
As a starting point to this collection I took my earliest vivid memory of American culture which happened to be a black and white television series The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn based on a book written by Mark Twain.
It was clear though having started at this point that the experience of being in America for the first time, the impact of the thrift stores and their social context built a deeper and darker relationship to the pieces I designed perhaps echoing Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
There are five pieces in the 'Custom Made U.S.A collection they traverse autobiographical narratives remembered from childhood to new narratives of my experience of America.