"Pleading for another century" by Marc Rayner

How Art from Waste is Going to Influence the Future

Amodini Allu November 16 2022


How interesting it can be to make art from waste? It is an eco-friendly method of creating art that serves many purposes, like spreading awareness for a specific issue (like plastic polluting our oceans) while making garbage aesthetically appealing. Let’s discover some works of emerging artists who have explored various attempts to make art out of waste materials.

In this contemporary scenario, our surroundings get clogged up with a vast amount of waste materials that can never be recycled. Though most of the materials are expected to get recycled, only a few of them meet the final stage of the process. Local artists, who wish to contribute their part to society, contribute through art. Art made from waste/recycled objects utilizes any material that no longer serves its primary purpose. We are all aware of how these waste materials are creating a major impact on the environment. Various emerging artists worldwide take the responsibility of delivering a strong message by converting this waste into aesthetic works of art.

Emerging artists usually work with a theme or for a cause to deliver a strong message while working with recycled materials. These meaningful artworks are displayed as installations in public spaces that are also used to attract a public crowd. They have also been used in closed spaces like shopping complexes, museums, subways or metro stations, etc.

“The sole purpose of creating art from waste materials has a personal impact on human level compared to other ways of using it”

Source: Recycled Art - Exploring Impressive Art Made From Recycled Materials (artincontext.org)

The local artists who are well aware of their surroundings experiment with recycled art to any extent from 2D to 3D scale. They address various issues such as extinction, pollution, and sustainability. The list is expanding as artists have been exploring various innovative methods to re-utilize materials.

Common Used Materials:

In case the material doesn't meet the recycling process or can be recycled in a large quantity, it can be recycled for the artwork. Especially materials collected from construction waste, oceans, or non-biodegradable ones can be converted into artworks. It also depends on the artist's mindset to decide on the materials based on the message they are trying to deliver.

A few materials that can make a good installation are electronic waste, paper, metal, plastics, glass bottles, mosaics, and fabric.

5 Artists to Know About:

Working with recycled materials involves a lot of experimenting and research before starting the work. It requires patience to collect the necessary materials and decide on the process of using them. The emerging artists listed below have committed to creating this type of art.

Wim Delvoye: A Belgian artist known for his neo-conceptual works, Delvoye creates intricate works widely used as installations. He has displayed his works in many solo exhibitions and museums in various cities. His works are mostly nature-inspired. He gives a new perspective by making hand-carved, intricate details on rubber tires without changing its form.

Carved detail on a rubber tire by Wim Delvoye

Guerra de la Paz: This is a collaboration between two Cuban artists Alain Guerra and Geraldo de la Paz. Their work is known for the brilliant usage of unwanted or leftover textiles. Using unwanted clothing, they create abstract colour and form-based works as well as literal forms such as people and landscapes.

A family sculpture made from textile waste by Guerra de la Paz

Michelle Reader: Michelle is known for her bespoke eco-friendly and recycled sculptures that are made based on the event or organization. She also works as a freelance art educator in schools. Her work involves attractive figurative materials that are made from electronic waste or scrap from toys.

BOMBUS LUCORUM (Recycled sculpture of a bumble bee) by Michelle Reader

Francisco de Pajaro: He draws inspiration from and expresses himself with street waste. In general, he finds garbage in the streets, paints directly on it, and leaves after signing his creations with his brand name. “Art is Trash gives a voice to anyone who can not scream. Against the negative things we face,” commented the artist to express his thoughts on the social economic crisis in Spain.

A work depicting Francisco’s style by Francisco de Pajaro

Martha Haversham: She is an interdisciplinary contemporary artist, based out of London, who is known for reusing women’s fashion waste into art. She gives a particular term for it as ‘Trashion’. She has participated in several individual expos and a few public installations.

Dead Summer Flowers with Small Bird Carcass and Paper Collage (2018) by Martha Haversham

These emerging artists can deliver meaningful and powerful messages by making art out of waste materials. This type of art appeals to people for its artistic value and contribution to the planet's well-being by giving the materials a second life.








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