Pick up sticks

From stir stick to super-sized sculptures. Artist Jonathan Brilliant takes coffee stirrers and turns them into awe-inspiring installations.

What does one do with 70 000 stir sticks? Of the variety that’s issued in coffee shops to stir your hot beverage with. Turn it into a large-scale installation, of course.

Well, that’s one brilliant way to deal with the remains of modern coffee consumption and exactly what artist Jonathan Brilliant does.

Brilliant collects these sticks and weaves it into an installation, constructing it mostly by hand using the basic principles of tension and compression. Sometimes Brilliant finds it necessary to secure the installation to existing architecture in an exhibition space. Other times he might use tensed wires to help hold up the form.

The installations form part of Brilliant’s travelling exhibition Have Sticks Will Travel. How does one travel with 70 000 stir sticks? Typically the artist will be invited to do an installation somewhere. He will then send two weeks on site constructing the stick creation.

Each installation takes between eight and ten days to build. Brilliant’s next exhibition opens in Virginia on 4 November 2011.