Spotlight On: Marko Barakoski

Local artist Marko Barakoski uses recycled materials to create unique and compelling sculptures that encourage conversation about “making the places in which we live cleaner, safer and wiser.”

Marko will be displaying some of his pieces and working on a new one in the Bike\Shift area at the corner of Queen and Otto streets. Bike shapes and parts often pop up in Marco’s work – as do old car parts, like in his winning entry at EnviroSCULPT 2013.

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Marko’s winning entry at EnviroSCULPT 2013

The sculpture is a Lake Sturgeon, North America’s largest freshwater fish, local to southern Ontario. It is also one of Ontario’s endangered fish species, thanks to over fishing and loss of habitat.

Here’s what Marko says about the intent behind this piece and why he works with recycled materials – and why that’s still not enough:

I wish to promote awareness about a species that doesn’t garner the same type of recognition as say, a polar bear, because it is easy to forget that there are creatures that struggle nearby.

The materials used are faulty/unused muffler parts acquired from a scrapyard in nearby Cambridge. Pre-consumer waste, I believe, is an overlooked commodity in not just art, but everyday living, from design and decor to ‘up-cycled’ products.

Given the scope of ecological threats (i.e. global warming), it’s not hard to make too much of recycling and reuse. The root causes of the big problems won’t be solved by how many muffler parts are converted into blenders. The advantage is that capitalizing on those resources we do exploit could discourage further plundering of our land and help protect the ecosystem.

More of Marko’s work:

IMG_9988 Ubiquitousfive

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