Last week I was invited to speak about my work at a day conference at Exeter University, run by Calmare (Centre for Alternative Materials and Re-manufacturing Technologies.) Entitled Trash to Treasure, the aim of the day was to explore waste management and the ways in which artists can use waste materials as a medium.
We learned a great deal about the multitude of different plastics, the problems they cause to eco-systems and the current work being done to educate SW businesses and the public about reducing waste. Attendees were challenged to consider the role of artists in changing culture and industry. Artists were invited to think about making a work to submit for a Trash to Treasure exhibition to be staged at the University early in 2015.
The power of art has been seen clearly this November in Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by Paul Cummins, the installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, visited by millions from around the world.
In the final discussion of the Calmare day, we made a list of the ways in which Art can challenge culture:
Visual impact – grabs attention Direct way of communicating a point Looking at things differently Passion – gets to the heart of things Asking questions Challenging the Status Quo Holding up a mirror Subversion through satire Humour/fun
I believe in the power of Art.