Waste (Not)

Waste (Not) ~ exhibition, 2011, Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts (my part of the wider collaberative Heart Mind Comupter exhibition inspired by The Dark Mountain Project)

The environment is constantly changing over time, its various elements necessarily adapt and evolve in a cycle. The concept of ‘waste’ writes objects off from this process of evolution with the assumption that an object, in losing its original function, has become useless.

This exhibition set to challenged that assumption. It was made up of salvaged, found and otherwise to-be-discarded objects which were sewed, weaved, carved, painted, glued or in any way possible remade into useful or beautiful objects.

Looking more like a living room than a gallery, my section of the exhibition invited people to come sit amongst the homely clutter and re-make things with me and others, talking about the idea of waste and thinking about the use of art to create in all aspects of our lives.

Due to the gallery limitations I wasn’t able to create as immersive an environment as I would have liked. I prefer working outside galleries as much as possible and to encourage people to look at the ‘exhibits’ or objects as life not restricted to the separate arena of ‘Art’. In this exhibition I talked with people about the waste and our cultural ideas and standards whilst sewing fabric baskets or playing checkers with the home-made board and pieces. I wanted to get the visitors thinking about their environment, their ‘waste’ and their own creative potential to make practical use of these connections in their lives.

I am pleased to say that many people helped in the making of items for this exhibition. It seems that mobilising others appears to be a recurring aspect of my projects! Its a good start for growing the culture I’d like to live in.

We made::::::::: (amongst other things…)

  • Chess/checker board – push pin board, folded aluminium (beer cans), paint pot checker pieces.
  • Chess/checker board – tree cross section, wood stainer (from skip) mismatched bolts as chess pieces.
  • Earrings and bracelets – copper wire, scraps of fabric, buttons, & salvaged computer parts, wire and switchboard.
  • Wallets – tetrapack cartons, fabric scraps, elastic bands & buttons.
  • Paper bowls, – folded, glued wrapped paper in concentric circles
  • Fabric bowls/baskets – old clothes line, wrapped in fabric scraps and sewed in concentric circles.
  • Painted zinc-chimney lampshade!
  • A parliament of owls – a found jumper and stuffing from a salvaged sofa cushion.


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