Made with scavenged materials and found objects, the apparently chaotic installations by Monica Canilao occupy entire rooms, creating lively new environments out of old discarded items.

It is difficult to classify Canilao's artistic practice. She does not have a medium of choice – everything at hand can serve her creative energies. She off-handedly switches from drawing, printing and stitching to building; from small works to massive installations. The big spaces she creates are densely furnished and decorated up to the smallest corner. They look naturally chaotic and for this same reason lively, warm and intimate.

Canilao's inspiration is nourished by the old and neglected objects that once surrounded a life, from old photographs to decorative objects. These items emanate a strong, evocative power which activates the imagination.

We live in an era of mass production and disposability: we easily discard still-functioning objects in the name of the latest ones. Canilao's art is a reaction to this trend. She demonstrates that the old is a carrier of the new, provided that we actively and imaginatively engage with it.

Canilao's art reminds us of two things: the first is that the category of the new is not a matter of superficial appearance, in art as in life. The second is the priceless role of craft. In fact, it is only through mastering her crafts that Canilao is able to rescue discarded materials, giving them a completely new purpose.

Images courtesy of Monica Canilao.