From Cowboys to Astronauts – Art exhibition from waste materials.

“I’ve often heard people say: ‘I wonder what it would feel like to be on board a spaceship,’ and the answer is very simple. What does it feel like? That’s all we have ever experienced. We are all astronauts on a little spaceship called Earth.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

I am taking part in an art exhibition in Exeter, entitled From Cowboys to Astronauts. It is a very special exhibition, because all of the work is made from waste materials.

We, artists from Devon, are presenting objects, installations, visual art etc. made from waste. The meaning of it is to promote the concept of a circular economy – a regenerative economic system where materials and energy from products are recovered and put back into the system instead of simply being disposed of.

The initiative for this exhibition came from the Centre for Alternative Materials and Remanufacturing Technologies (CALMARE), a business technology centre, based at the University of Exeter and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The waste materials used in the exhibition have been sourced from the University itself, from the private ‘collections’ of artists and from other locations around Devon, including Exeter and Plymouth Scrapstores, Peninsula Waste Savers in Okehampton and the Devon County Council landfill sites managed by SITA.

Artists, as innovators with the ability to look at the materials from a different point of view and see issues with a touch of imagination, have a valuable role to play in turning waste products into objects of value. It could be for exemple an aesthetical, practical or conceptual value. The hope is that this can raise awareness and be an effective education tool for viewing these products in a new way.

On Saturday 2nd May, there was a Family Day and a workshop for kids, where the children got the chance to use recycled materials and produce some very interesting objects. All the work made by the children can be seen at the exhibition space.

The next ‘Meet the Artist day’ will be on Saturday 16th May. It will give the public an opportunity to talk to some of the exhibiting artists and find out more about their work.

Entry to the exhibition is free, and it is open to the public from Monday to Saturday, excluding bank holidays, until the final Friday, May 22nd 2015.

The exhibition takes place in Exeter, at The Enviro Hub, Devon Contract Waste – Marsh Barton Road Exeter, EX2 8NU.

A very unusual place and very unusual exhibition. I hope to see you there.


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