The pre-loved high-end bike in the picture below was on sale at a property auction. No one wanted it – it was too old and daggy and from the reaction of the crowd appeared in no way cool enough to buy, let alone ride. I looked at this forlorn bike and thought of the previous owner who had purchased, loved (I hoped), and ridden this bike – then it has been cast out after however long and was now forgotten and miserable. It was a sorry sight to see; as it seemed that there was still so much more spunky and happy times to be had with it– yet here it was discarded and sad long before its expiry date.
Considering how rapidly bike technology, marketing and styles change, my heart broke: that no-one wanted this bike anymore, that this bike had been so quickly and uncaringly superseded – and although it was in perfect working order at auction, was regarded as objectionable and obsolete.
So I took pity on it and was the only person who bid on it – and got it for 50c.
On my way home from the auction, I found a bag of clothes someone had tossed on the side of the road. All the clothes were brand new – tags still attached, never worn. Amongst the clothes were a set of blue athletic work out tracksuits, not dissimilar to those I’ve seen people wear on an exercise bike. It felt very serendipitous and ironic acquiring these two items.
I was inspired to create this art bike as I acquired both passion (bicycle) and fashion (clothes) items on precisely the same day. As well, both were items I have bought on a number of occasions elsewhere. However, on this day, I was even more strongly, blatantly reminded of the immensely wasteful and consumeristic society we live in; personified by these two items presenting themselves so closely and prominently within the same hour. It was both saddening and humbling.
So I refashioned these two items together to generate a new, valued and wanted artefact, that urges us to be more mindful of products we buy and to be more prudent with our passion and fashion purchases.
As the title of this art bike CONS_U_ME BLUES identifies, this bike highlights how often our CONSUMErist society CONS YOU and ME into buying more and more products – the result of which, when honestly critiqued, makes many of us quite depressed and BLUE.
Please be more mindful and responsible with your purchases.