This artist is saving tech from the trash compactor one Star Wars sculpture at a time
These are the droid Instagrams you're looking for
Name: Gabriel Dishaw
One man's trash is another man's tauntaun.
And while Gabriel Dishaw hasn't actually built one of those Empire Strikes Back snow lizards — not yet, anyway — the self-described "junk artist" has been making Star Wars-inspired sculptures since 2012.
On his Instagram you'll find the droids you're looking for, and then some. He's re-imagined Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and a fullfleet of Stormtroopers using 100 per cent "upcycled" parts — and now that the franchise's latest blockbuster, Rogue One, is almost here, expect a K-2SO in the near-ish future.
"I'm a huge fan," says Dishaw, 36, in case it wasn't already obvious. "I grew up watching all of the movies as a kid, and it just made sense that this passion and love for anything Star Wars would carry over into my art."
My goal here is to inspire people to think differently about waste, and hopefully influence them to take action.- Gabriel Dishaw, artist
Dishaw's work is about more than fandom, though. Since he was a teenager, he's been creating sculptures out of scraps, and he uses discarded items to build every piece. Old typewriters and obsolete computers are some of his favourite materials. Same goes for antlers. "Adding horns to any sculpture makes it awesome," he says.
And while he spends plenty of time playing Jawa, scavenging parts from flea markets and antique stores and Ebay, people drop their trash on his doorstep, too. As he tells CBC Arts, they know "I will put good use to something they don't want to see end up in a landfill."
"My goal here is to inspire people to think differently about waste, and hopefully influence them to take action in any little way they can to reduce their impact on the environment," he explains, and the Star Wars sculptures aren't the only examples. The artist, who's based in Indianapolis, uses the same technique to build just about everything, including animals, plants and an extensive series of sneakers (one of his other obsessions).
"We live in this world. We need to take care of it and be mindful of our impact," he says.
Take a look at some of his work, and follow @gabrieljunkart on Instagram.
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