Local artist’s thinking is outside of the letterbox

Climate: Steve Sparks with his letterbox.

Alyssa Fritzlaff

ROSEDALE artist Steve Sparks has created a letterbox as commentary on climate change.

Mr Sparks is passionate about the environment, and does his best to recycle everything he can.

Both his workshop and home is an impressive display of his commitment to reusing all that he can.

Every element of his pieces of art and other items is completely recycled. Mr Sparks even does his best to recycle nails and screws whenever possible.

“There is no waste, just stuff in the wrong place,” Mr Sparks said.

The letterbox, which sits proudly out the front of his home, represents various elements and impacts of climate change.

At the top of the letter box sits a metal crow, which represents the harbinger of death.

The crow sits atop its nest, which is comprised of a gas cylinder representing fossil fuels.

The letterbox’s body is a water cylinder with two dry taps attached. This is a nod to water shortages.

On the front of the letter box is a grate depicting a grapevine, the grapevine symbolises the struggles of farmers.

Finally, the bottom represents the automotive industry and carbon emissions through a wheel rim.

Mr Sparks has been creating pieces from recycled materials for more than 30 years, however recycling is something he has been interested in his whole life.

He has lived in the area for about three years, and spends hours creating new items and artworks every day.

“When I was a child, my heroes were Steptoe and Son, I could not think of a better job than riding around on a horse and cart collecting all that wonderful paraphernalia,” he said.

Mr Sparks explained how he was such a fan of the television show that he even wrote to them at m11-years-old, trying to acquire their suit of armour.

“Of course, it was a prop and not for sale, but they were kind enough to write me a nice letter and also a signed photo, which I still have as a prized possession.”

After 55 years, he did finally purchase his own suit of armour, which he said he will never sell.

As a young boy, on Saturdays, Mr Sparks would visit the local museums in the mornings, and in the afternoons he would go to ‘jumble sales’ which he said was full of great stuff in the 1950s/1960s in England.

“It was a great life for a kid,” he said.

Mr Sparks creates walking canes, shoe boxes,hat racks and so many other things in his workshop. His shed is full of pieces he has completed, and others that are in progress.

He explained that all his pieces are made out of quality material, so much of which he said other people throw away needlessly.

His letterbox artwork is one of his pieces intended as a conversation starter, provoking thought for those that view it.