"Since my relocation to Europe from Australia in 2013, I have spent the last 9 years working on an ongoing project exploring and painting in the vast selection of Abandoned buildings, Industrial factories and Soviet Military Bases scattered across Germany and Eastern Europe. My initial aim was to explore these locations for inspiration and to begin painting a series of “Abandoned Objects” scattered throughout these amazing industrial spaces in what was once Soviet-occupied Germany.
These painted “Objects” were literally inspired through the actual process of exploring these abandoned journeys and witnessing the debris and the surviving remains of the locations former purpose.
Apart from the sheer beauty in decay of the remains, what I found more intriguing was evidence of other explorers and painters who visited these abandoned locations years and even decades before my visitation. Their own discarded rubbish and fallen debris from their adventure and urban exploration. I noticed that a lot of urban painters like myself would go paint graffiti in these locations and discard their empty spray-cans and paint-tins and other painting materials.
I decided to start collecting these discarded objects focusing on the beautiful decorated rusted metal spray-cans as a vehicle for me to manipulate and eventually paint directly onto these objects.
I found through this process, in a sense I was reinventing these discarded objects giving them new life again. Giving these discarded objects that were left through-out the decades, a new meaning and making it precious and desirable. A painting medium & tool that had already been used to literally create, itself has been reinvented into an artwork. Through this, a narrative was formed that can be interpreted as a kind of recycling of the physical object and also the meaning.”
James Reka. June 2022.