Everyday waste becomes 'trash art' in Norfolk gallery

Waste is given a new life as art in a show at GroundWork Gallery in King’s Lynn, the UK’s only gallery to specialise in art and the environment with the aim of demonstrating how art and artists can enable deeper thought about environmental issues.

Everyday waste becomes 'trash art' in Norfolk gallery
Visser's art uses innovative recycled materials, including concrete made using waste glass
The show, entitled TrashArt, has a waste and recycling theme, and its main exhibition comes from Dutch artist Jan Eric Visser, who has created sculptures using paper and packaging waste from his own home, as well as innovative recycled materials not often found in the fine art world: Aquadyne, a drainage product developed in Scarborough from waste plastics, and a new translucent concrete created by the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Much of the aggregate and cement in the concrete has been replaced with waste glass and other recycled materials, and the product is self-cleaning, using UV light to prevent algae growth as well as to counter air pollution by removing nitrogen oxide particles from the air.

Visser has called waste “the new gold” and describes his artistic process as ‘form follows garbage’, using everyday waste as a starting point to lead him towards a final piece of art. As part of British Science Week (9-18 March), Visser will also be working alongside women supported by social enterprise 4Transform to make art from waste found in the local area.

Everyday waste becomes 'trash art' in Norfolk gallery
The artist collecting waste from the River Ouse

Also on display at the gallery is 'The Surrey Hills', an audio-visual piece by duo Henry/Bragg about a landfill site, and a photo exhibition by Gina Glover documenting roadside plastic bottle litter, 'The Entangled Bank'.

The TrashArt show will run from 10 March to 2 June, and more information can be found on GroundWork Gallery’s website.