Three large sculptures that draw curious visitors, trekkers and locals into the centre are made entirely from local waste

“I started with making a couple panels out of roofing steel and representing the iconic scene of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. The mountains are so omnipresent that it was impossible to keep them out of my work. Those pieces really resonated with both the locals and trekkers, so much that I sold several works just after completing them. The goal of giving garbage a new value and incentivizing its removal from this remote area was being realized in the moment! I was suddenly overwhelmed with how much more I could do. Too many ideas. Too much garbage. Not enough time.”
Floyd Elzinga

Metal Sculptor

Floyd Elzinga

Metal Sculptor

Sponsored by the Denali Foundation, Floyd Elzinga spent five weeks in the fall of 2022 with part of his Canadian team – Jeff Buikema and Carolyn Elzinga – at Sagarmatha Next.

Floyd shares his hope for the waste of the Khumbu region: an envisioned future where the garbage holds an intrinsic value to the extent that there is no waste left behind. A dream, where waste carries so much worth that people no longer discard it without thought.

His artworks become a metaphor for the beautiful Khumbu region, symbolizing its beauty and the hope it holds. The medium with which these artworks are created becomes the representation of the region’s ongoing challenges – the external forces that are shaping the future of the Khumbu region and at the same time, Floyd’s motivations and art.

During the residence, Floyd created a total of 25 individual artworks. The collection ranges from 4.5 meters tall and weighing 400 kg sculptures placed at the outdoors of the centre, to little wall hangings representations of local mountain views created by ‘En Plein Air’ grinding.

Three monumental sculptures

Made of metal scrap including helicopter parts to household appliances, rebar, roofing material, and more. Although they seem jarring and incongruous in the beautiful mountain landscape, these sculptures offer a chance to reflect on both the brokenness of the past and the persistent hope for the future, glimpsed in the new resilient growth.

The magnitude of Hope demands the attention of curious visitors and invites them inside to discover more. With Hope, Floyd is making the first attempt to capture the audience’s imagination and insinuate them to think of waste in ways they had not before.

Anchored on the rotor of MI-17 -a Russian helicopter that crashed in Everest Base Camp in 2003- a piece of history becomes part of The Grounded Root of Flight. There is growth coming out of tourism in the Khumbu region. Is it good or is it bad? What are the consequences of the industry that’s building up in Khumbu? Who is regulating the impact? If nobody is, is every tree going to be made out of garbage? These are some of the rhetorical questions that visitors are evoked with while looking at the sculpture.

Renewal, entirely made out of the leftovers from the other sculptures, is the garbage of all the garbage Floyd was left with. Renewal represents the cyclical idea of reusing waste, and the artist’s ecstatic joy in finding that even his waste has value!

Three monumental sculptures

The three monumental sculptures are made of metal scrap including helicopter parts to household appliances, rebar, roofing material, and more. Although they seem jarring and incongruous in the beautiful mountain landscape, these sculptures offer a chance to reflect on both the brokenness of the past and the persistent hope for the future, glimpsed in the new resilient growth.

The magnitude of Hope demands the attention of curious visitors and invites them inside to discover more. With Hope, Floyd is making the first attempt to capture the audience’s imagination and insinuate them to think of waste in ways they had not before.

Anchored on the rotor of MI-17 -a Russian helicopter that crashed in Everest Base Camp in 2003- a piece of history becomes part of The Grounded Root of Flight. There is growth coming out of tourism in the Khumbu region. Is it good or is it bad? What are the consequences of the industry that’s building up in Khumbu? Who is regulating the impact? If nobody is, is every tree going to be made out of garbage? These are some of the rhetorical questions that visitors are evoked with while looking at the sculpture.

Renewal, entirely made out of the leftovers from the other sculptures, is the garbage of all the garbage Floyd was left with. Renewal represents the cyclical idea of reusing waste, and the artist’s ecstatic joy in finding that even his waste has value!

Wall hangings

Wall hangings

Working at Sagarmatha Next Waste lab, with a grinder, Floyd attempted to make the reflection of the light of rocks, trees, and snows on scraps of roofing steel. His inspiring collection also includes 22 small sculptures and little wall hangings that represent the most iconic peaks of the Himalayas.

Ten of the artworks were sold and shipped to buyers around the world during his residency. The remaining artworks can be purchased by contacting us.

The collection is on display at our gallery and can be enjoyed by everyone visiting Sagarmatha Next in Spring 2023.

Experience at Sagarmatha Next

“As an artist, I have ideas happening all the time. Some of the ideas are based on reality, and some of them are not. Finding things that were based on the Khumbu region of reality and then working with physical processes was the complicated part.”

Having worked with steel for many years, Floyd shared that steel was the material that naturally came to his mind. On top of adapting to the challenges by exploring creative possibilities and then incorporating them into his artistic process, Floyd shares that living at Sagarmatha Next was the highlight!

He reflects that he found a significant disparity in accountability for waste, “In North America, I don’t have to be as conscious of waste as I should be. It got me thinking about what more I could be doing, what areas I should focus on, and how I should approach things differently.”

Experience at Sagarmatha Next

“As an artist, I have ideas happening all the time. Some of the ideas are based on reality, and some of them are not. Finding things that were based on the Khumbu region of reality and then working with physical processes was the complicated part.”

Having worked with steel for many years, Floyd shared that steel was the material that naturally came to his mind. On top of adapting to the challenges by exploring creative possibilities and then incorporating them into his artistic process, Floyd shares that living at Sagarmatha Next was the highlight!

He reflects that he found a significant disparity in accountability for waste, “In North America, I don’t have to be as conscious of waste as I should be. It got me thinking about what more I could be doing, what areas I should focus on, and how I should approach things differently.”

“I started with making a couple panels out of roofing steel and representing the iconic scene of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. The mountains are so omnipresent that it was impossible to keep them out of my work. Those pieces really resonated with both the locals and trekkers, so much that I sold several works just after completing them. The goal of giving garbage a new value and incentivizing its removal from this remote area was being realized in the moment! I was suddenly overwhelmed with how much more I could do. Too many ideas. Too much garbage. Not enough time.”
About the artist

Floyd Elzinga

About the artist
Floyd Elzinga

Floyd is a sculptor of metals working both three-dimensionally and two-dimensionally. He is drawn to representing nature in metal, and has been exploring the tradition of landscape painting using non-traditional materials and techniques.

His most recent work focuses on interpretations of landscapes using steel and stainless steel as mountains, lakes, and trees. These idyllic mountain or lake scenes often emphasize anthropomorphized trees and are created to highlight the physical properties of steel.

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