New Jersey-based artist Robert Lach gives disused objects new life by transforming them into delicate sculptural pieces. Lach collects discarded vintage American Tourister suitcases and transforms them into a sculpture series called “Nest Colonies.” Using only the materials found in the lining and outside of the pieces of luggage, Lach creates intricate nests that are displayed within the suitcase's shell.
Inspired by architecture and his love of bird watching, Lach began working with discarded materials to create his nest pieces as a way to use materials to connect to the local environment. Lach sources the suitcases from secondhand stores. The vintage pieces of luggage, which vary in size and color, have been tossed aside, replaced by more convenient roller bags and suitcases.
The suitcases in Lach’s “Nest Colonies” represent a feeling of home, but they also suggest being on the go. Each time we travel, we bring an element of “home” with us, whether it is a trinket or an article of clothing. This feeling of home and movement relates to the migration habit of birds, and so the suitcases were reworked to contain finely shredded birds’ nests.
Each suitcase’s lining has been carefully separated from its support structure and shredded. Much like the mixed components of an actual bird’s nest, the Nest Colonies are made up of linings, cardboard and other materials that have been taken from the suitcase and shredded so delicately that they appear to be a uniform material. The resulting sculptures look as if a bird could move right in and call them home. Lach’s beautiful sculptures pay tribute to his fondness of bird watching and the beauty of nature, while recycling a discarded item and giving it a new purpose.