Portsmouth, a talented United Kingdom-based artist Julie Alice Chappell makes stunning miniature sculptures of insects using circuit boards found inside unwanted electronics. She says; my art practice comprises breaking down the pre-existing materials, reinterpreting them and providing them a fresh form with different purpose, producing something striking, whimsical and precious. It is all started some years back, when she came across a large box of tiny electronic components at the Beneficial Foundation in Portsmouth, and then recognized as the "The Craft Bank." The center receives surplus items from numerous companies and they pass along these "hidden treasures" to schools, community groups and artists. The first thing that came into my mind when I looked at them was, “a mass of tiny bodies and legs ants!” I decide to take them home to my children and we made ants.
It was only few years later, when she found the box again, and this time, sparked a different idea. Nevertheless; Chappell was enrolled in a Fine Arts degree program and through it she grasped that she can use found objects in her artwork. As part of her degree, she got involved with environmental art.
Thus when during a workshop, she met few upcoming artists who were making life-size robots with circuit boards from computers. However they abandoned their project for some reasons, Chappell took home the circuit boards because she found them so visually attractive. Though watching a nature program on bio-diversity, she believed about the "ants" in the cupboard and she proceeded to create various bug sculptures using her newly found circuit boards. Through her series, called Computer Component Bugs, the artist despairs to raise awareness of environmental waste. The recycled bits of cultural refuse that are woven throughout my work signify a direct encounter with the overindulgences of modern living highlighting the dangers of planned obsolescence and e-waste in the environment. The work displays an aesthetic beauty whilst providing a socio-political discourse, trying to reclaim waste and the destruction of the natural world, in the beauty of visual art.