Pamela Niskanen

Christchurch, New Zealand


Most of my works are resurrections of discarded materials. These days commodities become trash with astonishing rapidity, and I enjoy salvaging unwanted items from sidewalks and basements, barns and dumpsters
Broken sections of a piano, buckets of greasy machine parts, old screen doors, and sign letters have all contributed to the work that I do.  No one element has survived the journey to sculpture in its original found state – disassembly, cleaning, in some cases breaking, losing or adding parts has been necessary to accommodate them within the ‘frame’.  The most successful sculptures are ones in which I am able to incorporate every single piece from a batch that I found, leaving nothing to be thrown away.

Old things are beautiful to me.  I love how wear and tear shows on wood, metal, leather, etc.  I also love nature, and respect the natural cycle of growth, decay and fertilization of the next generation.  So I rescue and transform trash into sculpture in order to honor nature; the process reduces the volume going to landfills, it saves the resources that would have been used in manufacturing new materials, and it puts new beautiful things into the world.