TRU artist makes a monster mash

Ben Eastabrook shows off one of the"hybrid creatures" that makes up his "post-apoalyptic safari." PHOTO BY JENIFER NORWELL

Jenifer Norwell: Omega Contributor  Ω

Monsters mash-ups are a big part of Ben Eastabrook’s art. All over his studio are drawings and models of creatures never before imagined.  Slug-baby combinations sit on his work table beside all kinds of other unusual hybrids. The fourth-year TRU fine arts student uses his skills in sculpting, painting, printmaking and photography to develop the conceptual world of his latest works. Eastabrook shows his art regularly at TRU and plans to start his master’s degree in the summer of 2012.

Q: What do you do?

A: Right now what I do is I’m creating my own sort of post-apocalyptic safari in a sense. I’m creating these creatures that have evolved and mutated in a post-human environment and have had to adapt to the waste we’ve left behind so a lot of these creatures are made from non-biodegradable materials such as Styrofoam, metal, plastics and it incorporates into their digestive system so final pieces will actually show bits of Styrofoam and metal coming out of them as well as having realistic organic features.

Q: How did you come up with that?

A: My whole life, I’ve really just had an interest in monsters and hybrid creatures and just fantasy creatures so I just really wanted to create a series of my own creatures—I started that by just collecting hundreds of plastic toys, just any animals, insects, birds, dinosaurs and I cut them all up like a crazy butcher and started gluing parts together to come across interesting combinations and even though most of them are guaranteed impossible, still, I find them fascinating.

Q: Is there an environmental message to what you are saying in this piece?

A: The environmental end, it’s kind of a comment on the amount of material we have that will be around long after we’re gone and how life on earth will have to evolve and adapt to that. Humans have left a permanent footprint on our planet… these creatures are what’s left to pick up the pieces of what we’ve left behind and in a way they are cleaning the planet and because their food source, in my head anyway, is these non-biodegradable materials, eventually life has evolved to have to deal with this material and it will eventually have to evolve to not deal with the material once it’s all gone.