Finding art in waste

Finding art in waste

Cheryl Rodrigues is a freelancer who makes art out of waste. Tissue roll holders, glass bottles, threads, fabrics, stones and seashells are some of the things she turns into beautiful souvenirs.

She shares her inspiration, “My grandmother inspired me a lot. As a child, I grew up watching her do so much with limited materials, and the outcome always amazed me. She
had her own unique identity in what she did.” She also takes inspiration from nature.

A photo frame made of seashells was Cheryl’s first art piece. She recalls, “I made it when I was 6 years old and used it to frame a picture of Mother Mary.”

The freelancer says she does not take a specified amount of time for her works. “It depends on customer’s preference. If it is for myself, I just do as my mind says,” she shares.

She further adds, “It also depends on what I am working with. For example, hand casting takes 10-15 days; it is a process where after taking the imprints, I need to wait for the mould to dry. Painting and other pieces like bottle décor and candle stands take 1-2 days.”

On asked where she gets her ideas from, she says “I travel often. I observe the nature, and grab things that catch my eye, and make something to remember the trip.” She says she either gifts the souvenirs to her travel buddies or keeps it for herself.

The eventual outcome of a piece, after the mess, gratifies her as an artist. She says, “I feel extremely happy and satisfied when I gift people my work or when I see people gifting my work to their loved ones.”

Cheryl has a website where she sells handmade crafts and things made out of waste. She also displays her artwork in carnivals and exhibitions and plans to start her own walk-in store sometime in the future.

She says, “Throughout my childhood, I was passionate and keen about doing something colourful by making the best use of the waste I found at home or around. I remember dressing up my dolls with hand-stitched clothes, collecting seashells and pistachio shells to make photo frames.”

She asserts that the fact that her parents encouraged her and helped her develop her art without judgements and hindrance.

Cheryl’s work can be viewed on her Instagram page, ‘Cheryl’s handiwork’.


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