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Regina artist brings assemblage art to Yorkton's Sunflower

Assemblage art is probably the most common name but another name is junk-driven art.

YORKTON - Buttons, wooden spools, toy soldiers, Hot Wheels cars, dice, Lego pieces, burned out Christmas lights, bolts and tiny padlocks might sound like the contents of a junk drawer in need of a good clean-out, but for Maureen Bachmann it’s a treasure trove to be mined for art. 

The Regina-based Bachmann creates art under the name Her Hands, Her Heart Creative Studio, and the works are what might be called quirky, as all manner of knickknack and brick brack find their way into what are sort of collage pieces. 

“Assemblage art is probably the most common name,” explained Bachmann as she was setting up for the annual Sunflower Art & Craft Market in Yorkton Friday, adding another name is “. . . junk-driven art.” 

The idea is simple enough, take anything that catches the artist’s eyes, typically smaller things in Bachmann’s case, and assemble them in artistic or unusual ways. 

“I took an art class about six years ago and we were doing something similar to this, and I hated it,” said Bachmann with a smile. 

But, the idea stuck with her. 

“I tried in out again my own way, and it worked for me,” said Bachmann. 

In terms of a medium Bachmann said she can find stuff at thrift stores, discount places, and of course yard sales, when a box of buttons can be a huge find. 

“There’s an endless supply of stuff,” she said, adding essentially recycling what many would see as junk into art “kind of speaks to me. . . I feel good about recycling a lot of this stuff.” 

The art Bachmann creates are typically created based “on what I have,” she said, adding she has a rather disorganized and crowded storage room of accumulated ‘art supplies’. 

So when she found a bunch of large alphabet letters, they naturally became the centre pieces of a series of art. 

Another piece was all about Christmas with light bulbs and angels and other items which reminded of the season. 

Then there was the piece Bachmann called ‘Jurassic Car Park’ when a group of tiny toy dinosaurs stomp over a bunch of small toy vehicles. 

At Bazaart it was Bachmann’s most popular piece with people under 25. 

“They loved it. They could relate to it,” she said. 

Other times, the art goes for quirky. 

Bachmann said she has taken out a set of butterfly wings, and when she realized she needed a body, she somehow decided using a toy soldier was perfect contrast. 

For Bachmann the art is sort of like job, but not quite. 

“I’m semi-retired,” she said. “I do this as much as I want to do this.” 

But, she does create enough to attend shows like Sunflower, where she expected a good weekend was ahead. 

“I was at Bazaart in Regina. People were lined up with money in their hands wanting to buy stuff,” she said, adding she feels there was a pent up desire after COVID shut down shows. 

Sunflower in Yorkton opens at 5 p.m. today (Friday) and goes until 10 p.m., then goes again 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.