Artists who work with recycled materials:
Anne Kelly is a UK based artist working with textiles as her medium. Her multi-layered stitched textiles are made using recycled materials. Anne Kelly collects recycled textiles, paper and uses collage and stitch to create her pieces. Often her pieces are inspired by the fabric scraps or her materials, so her work is very material orientated. Her materials include but aren’t limited to: cotton, linen, lace, patchwork and embroidery. She also uses as a base for her pieces handkerchiefs, table napkins, table clothes and tray clothes.
Pete Conaway, like Anne Kelly, uses recycled materials such as rope, wire and rubber. He’s done it all, including: book-binding, paper-making, painting, and many other techniques. His reasoning for using such materials is because his medium dictates the shape and form of the piece, and using recycled materials is interesting because it allows him to create something unique each time.
History of using recycled materials:
Recycling blends well with art and is a great medium for creative outlets. Nowadays, Eco-artists are transforming recycled, used and old materials into contemporary artworks. The trend started to leave the ground in the 1980’s when western galleries opened up for such creativity. The early 20th century was the beginning of recycled art. Around 1912, Pablo Picasso invented collage, in which he created work from paper, photos, newsprints and small objects. Early American settlers also used bits of fabric from flour sacks and old clothing to make patchwork quilts. Artist Bernard Pras (born 1952) also used found plastic objects to create collage works.
The most common technique using recycled materials is collage, originating from Picasso, however, many sculptors use recycled materials to create their work. The concept of recycling is also used in an art context from the point of view of recycling other artwork, such as photos from magazines, as well as plastic materials and ropes, wires, etc.