Being a community interest company sustainability is naturally part of our conversation. We are becoming more conscious of the materials we use in our artworks and are looking to explore and expand the use of more sustainable materials. We seek to get donated fabric and tiles and these are easy for people at our studio to use again in personal projects. But we want to challenge ourselves further as artists and use waste that you wouldn’t immediately consider to be an art material.
Our aim is to show everyone that you can create a high end piece of art, out of something that was going to be discarded.
In 2021 we were commissioned by NBC’s Green is Universal initiative to create a new piece of art using recycled material. They had a surplus of old cables, and we were given the task of turning them into something beautiful that would become a show piece in their new offices.
We brought our knowledge of mosaic to the exploration – how to create flow and direction while considering texture, colour and shape. Mosaic doesn’t need to be neatly cut pieces of ceramic or glass. It can literally be any material that you piece together to create a new whole.
Inspired by the NBC’s peacock logo, our design became an abstract peacock feather. We created different textures by gluing sections of cable on their ends, juxtapositioned with flat cables nail-gunned into the wood. The effect being immediately impactful yet the onlooker needs to take a closer look to see what the material actually is.
In this project we were commissioned to turn DVD’s and their cases into an inspiring piece of art. The idea was to highlight the conversation around plastic and the oceans, in the form of the Universal logo.
We used every part of the DVD and its case. Interesting pieces of the case were used for eyes and fins, the mirror shine of the disc was used to replicate the shiny scales which in turn look like the galaxy sky.
In the final piece you can see a galaxy of fish swirling around our planet which sits in the center. The fish look magical and ghostly and hopefully remind the viewer of the effect of plastic on marine life. While the shiny planet looks like city lights which both twinkle beautifully, and remind us of the light pollution we create.
This work has made us reflect on where art sits in the ecological debate and how we can use art as a platform for change. Here at Art4Space we use art to impact social change, but can we also reflect on ecology, and open conversation and debate around human impact on the planet?
How does using plastic and waste products as art materials effect change? Could it help us consider ways in which we consume and how much we waste?
If you are a company that is having a clear out or find yourself with a surplus of material that is hard to recycle please get in touch for a chat, I am sure we could transform and recycle your waste product into an inspiring art piece for your office.
Contact: Leah Reeves, Creative manager: firstname.lastname@example.org.