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Arianna Richardson: Garbage Can Cozy and Park Bench Cozy


17 August 2021 - 22 September 2021


17 August 2021
22 September 2021
In a public park, a bench and garbage can are decorated with bright colourful knitting. The covers are made of several vibrant colours and playful patterns.

Arianna Richardson: Garbage Can Cozy and Park Bench Cozy

About this exhibition

Garbage Can Cozy and Park Bench Cozy, is a temporary public art installation by artist Arianna Richardson. Located in Bill Johnstone Memorial Park, the installation consists of a set of highly decorated, custom-made cozies designed for a Sackville park bench and garbage can. On display until the end of the summer, the cozies are constructed from three-strand nylon twine and up-cycled plastic trash using a vintage knitting machine and various hobby-craft techniques. Richardson is known for laborious works that push the boundaries of kitsch and maximalist overdecoration as a means of critiquing disposable consumer culture and processing climate anxiety. In describing her practice, she writes, “As a community-engaged installation and performance artist, I create playful and absurd situations in public spaces that people can encounter unexpectedly, wonder at, and engage with. I am always excited to have conversations with people about wastefulness and use-value and to encourage people to examine their personal relationship with material waste and consider their complicity in the system of mass-consumption that has overtaken our planet.”

This project is a part of Umbrella Projects, a partnership between the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery designed to pool our resources, energies, and respective strengths in order to facilitate off-site, in-print, online, and onscreen programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.


About the artist

Arianna Richardson is a sculptor, performance artist, sewist, and mother from Lethbridge, Alberta, in Treaty 7 territory. She is a lifelong crafter and thrift-store enthusiast, constantly collecting plastic-based trash and discarded craft materials. Richardson often performs under the pseudonym The Hobbyist, employing hobby-craft techniques to work through an investigation of ubiquitous consumption, gendered labour, waste, excess, and spectacle.

Richardson holds a BFA (2013) in Studio Arts from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, and an MFA (2018) from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was awarded the Roloff Beny Photography Scholarship in 2012 and the Alberta Arts Graduate Scholarship in 2016. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and has been featured in several performance art publications, including the December 2018 issue of Performance Research, Emergency Index: An Annual Document of Performance Practice, Volumes 8 & 9, and the online publication of Watch Your Head.


In a public park, two adults sit smiling on a bench decorated with bright colourful knitting. To their left, a garbage can is adorned with a knitted cover. The cover is made of several patterns and colours.