Folk Art Recycled Episode LVI – (56)

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Aruba for being a small island generates an enormous amount of waste. We must realize that this entire waste was once on a container as import. Recycling is an essential action to reduce waste that will be otherwise dumped in the environment. Within this action two approaches have emerged as possible solutions. The first is down cycling and the other upcycling. In the former, the break down process is accelerated at a high cost and hardly sustainable if not all details are followed as planned and budged available applied as efficient necessary. The result must benefit nature and citizen as a result of the process, while in the latter all waste has a value that can be increased through creative intervention.

A skate board bench

Our island waste impasse deserves a creative solution and a pragmatic intervention. In our experiment with upcycling our initial design led to the emergence of our native living lab and atelier at Westpunt Aruba, known as Etnia Nativa. A project that incorporates recollected materials in during every phases of its construction process. The same was applied in the building of artifacts furniture and artworks which are part of the decoration, such as lamps, masks, shells and bones feathers and seeds etc. Upcycled art or upcycling art is currently inspiring many artists around the world and prevents tons of garbage to reach dumping grounds.

Building with recycled materials.

Dumping must be seen and treated as a critical message regarding excessive consumption and environmental pollution. Transform waste such as paper, cardboard, wood, glass, plastics, metals and rubber into works of art that carries a message will impact the connoisseur. The concept, therefore, goes beyond the conventional recycling of materials by creating objects that exceed the economic, cultural and social value of the original product.

Bat Shaman. Art work made completely out of recollected materials

Transforming waste or recycle it into folk art is the creative expression of the human struggle toward civilization within a particular environment through the production of useful but aesthetic buildings and objects in the prosess of reducing waste.

Art has a role in cultural continuity and change. It is used to stabilize cultures by perpetuating the convictions of the identity and accomplishments of individuals and groups.

By calling folk art the “art of the people?”

The answer is not simple, for the subject is clogged with conjecture, controversy, and gaps in information.

Calling it native art makes it yet more confusing, however both differs from primitive art.

The scope of folk art is extremely broad, including the entire craft and creativity of the people.

Folk art is the creative expression of the human struggle toward civilization within a particular environment through the production of useful but aesthetic buildings and objects.

Lamp covers made out of recycled metal sheets

Generally, folk art is ART that may be used every day or reserved for high ceremonial ocassions; it may include handmade elements, as well as new, synthetic, or recycled components.

May be decorative or utilitarian.

May be made for use within a community of practice or it may be produced for sale as a form of income and empowerment.

May be learned formally or informally; folk art may also be self-taught.

May include intangible forms of expressive culture like dance, song, poetry, and foodways

Is traditional; it reflects shared cultural aesthetics and social issues. It is recognized that, as traditions are dynamic, traditional folk art may change over time and may include innovations in tradition.

Folk art is from, by, and for the people. Folk art is for all people without distinction of class, state, culture, community, ethnicity, gender and religion.

To immerse in what Aruba is all about, its people, its origins, its animals and culture, we highly recommend you to book your visit of our renowned cultural encounter session which has been entertaining curious, scientist and bohemians for decades. Mail us at to confirm your participation. Our facilities and activities take place close to high rise hotels.