London-based artist F. Conrad Engelhrdt has set up an ingenious recycling scheme by collecting discarded wine corks from various restaurants around the English capital and using them to create unique paintings.
This isn’t the first time wine and corks have been used as art mediums. In the past we’ve featured artists who paint with wine, and other who turn simple corks into miniature masterpieces. F. Conrad Engelhardt uses both of them to create his wonderful paintings. He has partnered with a series of restaurants in Shoreditch, London, to collect their discarded wine corks and recycle them into beautiful pictures. Looking at his works, you’d be tempted to think Engelhardt uses paints to achieve certain color tones, but in reality he uses only the different shades of the corks and the wine stains on them. The secret lies in choosing the perfect corks and arranging them in the best possible way.
Here’s what Conrad says about his art on the Cork by Cork website:
My background in chemistry has always given me a deep appreciation for the complexity of wine – the interactions of hundreds of individual chemical compounds. Together with diverse colors and aromas, these components in wine work together to achieve a unique and characteristic taste sensation.With regards to art I wanted to find a medium of expression which incorporated a natural media. Wine corks seemed a perfect blend of the two worlds. The wine cork, typically discarded after a bottle is opened, through this art is instead given a second lease on life and recycled for the viewer’s enjoyment. Wine corks offer a unique media that capture the essence of their parent wines and as they are natural materials they also mirror nature’s imperfections. I have been inspired by the Impressionist Movement. Transferring their techniques to nudes and other images and doing so with a color palate that is limited and defined by the chemical interactions between the cork bark and the base wines has proven exciting. The magical allure is that up close the image is merely suggestive, but as the observer backs away the artwork takes advantage of the human eye’s narrow focal point and the corks begin to blend together until the moment when the image appears sharp and unmistakable.
Thanks for getting in touch, Conrad!