The average household in the UK produces more than a tonne of waste every year – which adds up to a sobering 31 million tonnes annually.
While campaigners are trying to tackle this in a variety of ways, one creative approach is to see waste as a material for art. The four British makers featured on page 74 of September’s The Simple Things look to our rubbish for inspiration, encouraging the viewer to see waste denim, metal, plastic and paper in a whole new light.
Denim: Ian Berry
It’s hard to imagine an item of clothing more universal than a pair of jeans. Denim is a material that we all know and feel comfortable with. For Huddersfield artist Ian Berry, however, it forms his palette, from which he constructs intricate images. Beginning with his simple observation of the varied shades of blue in a pile of jeans, he has used old denim to create melancholy urban images, traditional pub scenes and instantly recognisable portraits from his layers of cut and constructed denim. Jeans are so familiar we’re used to taking the way they look for granted – Ian’s work encourages us to look again. ianberry.org
Turn to page 74 for three more artists.