World Bicycle Relief®

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Charles Kurre
Garden of My Secret Life (bicycle dreams of a better world)
Materials: SRAM parts, found bicycle parts, eucalyptus tree branches, machine parts, steel
Statement: The SRAM pART PROJECT for World Bicycle Relief has been a fantastic experience. I'm an avid cyclist (admittedly more dirt than road), and have deep Chicago roots both in my artistic life and my love for bicycles. I've used SRAM parts on my bikes, since back when SRAM was called Grip Shift, (and still twist-shifting today), so once I was invited to participate in the project, it was just too great an opportunity to pass up. When my box of 100 parts arrived, in all their anodized glory, they were amazing . . . more jewelry than pieces of bicycles. I do love to ride, but I also love the bike as a machine and riding and wrenching on my bikes is a little slice of perfection. So here I had a box of beautiful perfect parts to transform into art, but when it comes to my own object making, my aesthetic leans toward what has been used. I want to see and feel the history of that use, its life story so to speak, and I almost wished I had the time to install these parts on one of my bikes, ride them, beat and bash them . . . put them to their intended use . . . but instead I took out my hack saw and hammer and started in . . . I can't say I had any preconceived notion of just what form this metamorphosis would take, but the journey of discovery has been all the fun. A brief word on the title of my piece, “Garden of My Secret Life (Bicycle dreams of a better world)”… Much of the inspiration for my art comes from the natural world, I'm an amateur gardener with a fondness for succulents, and I spend much of my free time traipsing around, hiking and backpacking, and as my pART PROJECT piece started to take shape, it reminded me of the plants of the desert southwest, pointy and sharp, color pale greens to silver, punctuated with explosions of brilliant color. The "bicycle dreams of a better world" is homage to the ultimate purpose for the project, to support the work of World Bicycle Relief. To see how my sculpture came to life, I documented the process on my blog,

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