LUNA artist turns construction waste into paintings

One of the only art tools that Matt Johnston has ever bought is a $4.99 scrubber brush from Home Hardware. “I’m very happy with my purchase,” he said. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Johnston gets a 15 by 40 foot painting ready for LUNA in an underground parkade. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
As he paints, buckets dangle catching water. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
(Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Artist Johnston ponders next step in art process.

In an underground parkade, beneath dangling buckets catching dripping water, an artist flicks white paint.

Matt Johnston is the creator of Sight Art and he is getting a large painting ready for Luna: Nocturnal Art and Wonder Festival. His 15-by-40-foot painting will be on a wall outside the Revelstoke Credit Union, secured with snow anchors.

As Johnston works, Alan Watts’ Chill Step plays in the background.

“All my art has been created listening to Alan Watts,” said Johnston between splashes of paint.

Earlier this year, Johnston worked in construction. One of the jobs was putting a new roof on the old Revelstoke jail by the post office.

Johnston noticed the amount of construction material heading for the landfill and decided to make something out of it.

According to the World Bank, Canada generates the most waste per capita than any other country at roughly 36.1 tonnes per person in 2017.

Between 30 to 35 per cent of the total waste generated in Canada is attributed to the building sector, such as construction. By comparison, residential trash often comprises less than five per cent of waste.

“I’m sure I can do something with this,” he said.

Johnston started Sight Art within the last year. (Facebook)

From the jail, there was roughly 100 feet of leftover black filter cloth. Johnston took it, even though it was in frozen chunks, washed it and used his cutthroat razor “to get rid of all the fuzzies.”

He built frames from leftover wood, stretched the black material over, and started painting.

At first, he admitted it was a bit rough.

“The frames weren’t even square.”

However, over time he got more precise. Johnston learned to wash the fabric twice and double up it up to make it a more solid black.

Johnston said he decided to call his work Sight Art because the material is from construction sites. He would have preferred Site Art, but said that name was already taken.

“And you look at my art, so sight works too.”

This will be Johnston’s second art show as he also took part in the annual garden and art tour.

Luna: Nocturnal Art and Wonder is from Sept. 27 to 29.

READ MORE: Revelstoke’s Turbo Bambi is creating a ‘landmark’ for Luna

READ MORE: Luna Infinity Forest team creating new wonder for 2019

To see more LUNA stories go here.



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