92 » OpenRoad Driver PTOLEMY ERLINGTON Ptolemy Elrington is the British artist behind Hubcap Creatures, an art form named for his love of recycled materials and especially vehicle hubcaps. A resident of Brighton, UK, Erlington studied art and design and today focuses on creating sculptures of natural life forms from found and recycled materials. What’s your source of inspiration for your art? It’s the shapes and forms in nature. I do commissioned work so I sometimes get unusual commissions that challenge me, but they also increase my skill base. What has been your favourite sculpture to date? the hubcaps would become detached from their vehicles and end up there. It seemed wrong that they were being thrown away so I just started collecting them, and eventually, incorporating them into my art. Part of the feeling that drove me to follow this particular direction was awareness of the nature of value. I think we apply a lot of value to some things and not enough value to other things. All around me I see a great deal of waste. I want to highlight the fact that there’s an unfair distribution of wealth in the world. The idea that you can use and reuse things that other people think are rubbish is really important to me. The only one I’ve kept for myself has been a mirror car I made six years ago. This one is special to me because it’s slightly stupid, and that amuses me. I’d like to keep all my sculptures, but I have to make a living, too. These days I have 2,000 hubcaps, more than I know what to do with, so I don’t pick up every one I see. The higher end ones by Mercedes, BMW and Audi are better quality because the others tend to be more brittle and difficult to work with, even though they have more interesting shapes. How did you come to start working with hubcaps? How many hubcaps go into each sculpture? I used to live near a bend in the road where there was a bump, and On average, about seven to eight.