Giving Broken Items A New Life And Home


This weeks upcycled artist is Agnis Flugen, her work is both captivating and rich in history.  Her home is packed with boxes of items she turns into beautiful works of art that allow her to provide lost and broken items a new home.

What first got you interested in upcycled arts and crafts?

My mother abandoned me and my little sister when I was six, so growing up I never had a secure home or much of anything that was my very own….I remember once when I was 6 seeing “my little pony” on tv and wanting one so desperately, so I created one out of toilet paper tubes and yarn and it was my prized possession….

Whenever I felt overwhelmed I would retreat into an imaginary world and make all of kinds of wonderful things out of paper such as really elaborate paper dolls and doll houses out of shoe boxes,…as I got older I found myself collecting items..I was drawn to the forsaken, the forgotten, and the overlooked items on the side of the road.

The lost grocery list in the parking lot, the rusty bottle cap on the railroad tracks, the broken picture frame sticking up out of the dumpster….I wanted to give them a home, make them feel loved…the progression of collecting found objects to creating art was a natural process and I don’t quite remember when it started, just that it was something I have always done.

Fast forward to the present, I have a house full of non sequitur items. zip lock baggies and shoe boxes of stuff lined up all around my room. I have severed Barbie heads, thrift store cameras, and hundreds of disheveled books on my shelves…they keep me company and they inspire me and sometimes they allow me to reassemble them into something new and wonderful….

What mediums do you most enjoy working with?

Found objects, paper, and glue

Who are the upcycled artists you most look up to?

I really look up to a local artist from indy named Lydia Burris

Do you think upcycled art has the ability to be a powerful message about the environment?

Maybe, I don’t know. I participated in a local art show this fall that was all about “going green” and making art out of only recycled items. it was my first time mingling with other upcycled artists and I was surprised at how many used really destructive items to display their art, such as styrofoam and plastic tarps, some drove really far in their SUV’s to get  there, and I started thinking maybe it was counterproductive to go to these things, I mean how many trees did I alone end up kil   ling just to print my business cards? i hate to sound so pessimistic, i reckon upcycled art has potential to bring awareness to the environment, as long as the artist and the people providing the venues don’t become preoccupied with making as much money as possible and lose sight of what making recycled art is all about.

Any good music you can recommend at the moment?

The smiths, they might be giants, the magnetic fields, andrew w. k, ralph vaughan williams, barry manitlow….

What are your future goals for your artwork, anything you are currently working on?

Right now I’m really interested in making clocks out of  junky broken toys, but I lack the funds to buy all the clock kits so its slow going at the moment, my future goals include becoming more organized, sorting and categorizing the boxes and boxes of trinkets I’ve accumulated over the years, and setting aside more time just for creating, not because I need to sell items but just for the sheer joy of it.

Tell us something about yourself that we would never guess about you….

My great grandmother’s mother was cherokee indian, which would be difficult for anyone to guess since both me and my sister are natural redheads…

To Check out More of Agnis Here:


my flickr:


twitter (although i’m not on it much)!/agnisflugen



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