REUSE 4.0 gave everyone a chance to discover new, old, and amazing talents. In a seemingly endless labyrinth-like set up; art in all its forms lined the walls. Every exhibit stood out in its own unique way, serving up its own message. One exhibit that caught our attention was Bader Al Mansour’s exhibit which showcased art of a different caliber and of a different vision. Bader sees things as what they could be rather than just what they are, which is a gift not many possess. Watching a mechanic hurled over the engine of a car, Bader sees a pianist stroking the keys of a grand piano, with the plastic bags wrapped up on the side of the road playing the role of bunnies.
“The trend of creating art from scraps started as a green movement alongside the entire recycling hype,” Bader confesses, “for me it wasn’t about that at all, it was more about the idea that everything I work with is affordable and available.” It’s true, scraps are cheap. You can go to a scrap yard and purchase all sorts of junk for the price of expensive paint. Bader studied set-design and decorating and uses that knowledge to build his art. Some pieces are simpler than others; like his take on a model’s picture in which a bright red, car-jack mounted on the picture replaces her lips, versus his use of screws, nuts, and bolts that were lying around his work area to create a chair. His inspiration comes from his unique vision. Turning a wrench into a parrot’s head, using nuts and bolts to create the body, he saw the wrench turned to its side and thought it resembled the head and mane of a parakeet; and so he got to work. Intricate or simple, his work is inspired. His concept of how things are versus what they should be is astounding. In Bader’s world a doorknob is also a goat’s head – he sculpted the rest of the body from the door; head, tail, and all! Pliers as deer heads, cars as pianos, and bags as rabbits; his work caught everyone’s attention.
Every piece has a story, every story is stimulated, and his message is always clear. Bader’s work shows us that we can use everything around us to create art. “I don’t sketch or plan my work,” he begins, “I just see things and then start making them.” He wants to urge people to give back to the world. Bader had “0.7 meters squared” engraved on a ring he dons as a reminder to himself, signifying the space he takes up in this world, “it’s all I need,” he explains, “just those 0.7 meters squared.” He believes that everyone in this world only needs 0.7 meters squared and that everyone should validate their right to occupy that space. Be it through creating something, contributing to society, or even by simply giving back, we all need to prove that the space we have been given is, in fact, earned and not wasted. This is the main message he wants to send out to the world, that we’re on this earth to show what we can do and indeed, do something.