A WASTEofSPACE is the brainchild of Pete Margerum and Annali Alletha with the vision of having a dedicated space, where traditional “waste” materials can be creatively explored. Where dedicated workshops and education take place within this dedicated environment.
Through this exhibition, we explore this concept as a reality. By working with artists, all exploring “waste-materials” in their work, we question the process of when waste becomes valuable or turns into resources. As can be seen also in the work of exhibiting artist Thomas Dowdeswell, an established painter, whom clearly illustrates how the impulse to create, does not care about the surfaces it gets exposed to. It is the ultimate illustration of adding value to seemingly worthless objects, when necessity calls for it. These works were created when he could not afford a canvas, but does it detract from the value of the art work? From the purity of expression?
The current trend of waste being a subject matter to many artists, and becoming increasingly popular as representations in gallery spaces, ie. the recent Installation of Phyllida Barlow in the Tate Gallery in London. I call it a trend, but I am a firm believer of artists being able to represent the unseen, hidden sub-conscious of culture. They say if you want to see what a culture is like, look at the art which gets produced. By bringing this art into the public, and involving and engaging people who do not normally go into galleries, we have the opportunity to alter perceptions around waste.
Through this exhibition we also seek to bring the “unseen” to the surface. Waste has the quality of out of sight, out of mind. And a big problem with our inability to act on the amount of pollution in our cities, is because it gets tucked away out-of-sight in a landfill site. If we were exposed to the smells and horrors of a landfill site on our doorstep, we would think differently about our wasteful ways. Well, we’re not gonna create a landfill site and pretend it is art. But essentially what we seek to do with this exhibition is allow a space where the individual is confronted to question his / her own relationship with waste.
As the week progresses, the “waste” within the space will accumulate through creative workshops. An ants’ nest of activities! And on the final day of the week, we will be able to see the collective footprint of visitors represented creatively and beautifully. All the workshops are run by established and up-coming artists. Artists from different disciplines are invited to collaborate and new relationships are formed. So often this wonderful work is created in isolation, so what this project also seeks is for collaboration and fresh new ideas to inform current work processes. All these artists are explorers of “new-materials” finding new ways to use and engage with materials in excess in our environments. Only through the sharing of techniques and ideas will this zeitgeist gain momentum. It can almost be likened to have the same excitement as the Industrial Revolution, with the Great Exhibition in Crystal Palace and the Eiffel Tower. But with an added challenge – pre-conceived prejudices about the already existing materials, which adds a psychological angle to it. Then the total devastation involved in the excess of these materials causing death in our oceans, and health hazards to humans with less access to public services, where the waste tends to accumulate.
During the week other activities include: fancy dress fun litter pick challenges, with outfits provided by Bristol Textile Recyclers. Fancy Dress costumes headed for India and Pakistan, intercepted by litterARTI to engage kids and make litter picking fun! Stencils provided by The Fly, will allow participants to make statements about litter. We need to start changing perceptions about litter-picking in our societies, that it is unacceptable behaviour to drop litter, but also to ignore litter. If we all take the 2 minute Beach Clean challenge in our own neighbourhoods, you will start to create a culture of litter picking champions. Also look at how LITTERATI seeks to encourage cleaning up the streets: By using Instagram, picturing the litter which you then discard in the correct ways. This way a global map is created where litter has been picked. Litter picking needs to become socially acceptable, and people need to start taking responsibility of their wasteful ways. Collectively. Encouraged within communities.
We are also working with Resource Futures during this exhibition, who provides us with the information necessary to educate and inform accurately about the waste materials we are exploring during the exhibition.
All artists involved in this project, are stakeholders of this project as well. Everyone has agreed to work for half their normal rate, which shows the dedication to the project. The artworks exhibited for sale during the exhibition, will allow for 20% of the profits to go towards the litterARTI – Artists – Collective. We are raising funds which will allow for all the workshop artists to get DBS Clearance Certificates, which will allow them to carry this work forward.
The Scraptors. Fiona Campbell. Pete Margerum. Jethro Brice. Tim Floyd. Thomas Dowdeswell. Lee Kirby. Alison Harper. Jan Blake. Louise Block. Bridget Ely. Sarah Jayne Edwards. Seila Fernandez Arconada. Jennifer Blackwood. Fred Plumley. Object… The Fly. Katryn LaMiette. Katharina Nyilas. Olivia Jones. Sadie Few. Fiona Hobson. Phipholle. Annali Alletha. Matt Harris. Ruth Worsley. Morwhenna Woolcock. Domenico Alecci. Aimee McCabe. Alexandra Rowson. Maxine Hughes. Megan Sutcliffe. Beverly Heath. Clare Wood. June Burrough. Joe Hoare.