On Monday 5 November art students from the University of Bolton and Bolton College (UoB) worked with Bolton Council’s Waste and Recycling team to inspire people to recycle clothing and reusable items.
The ‘ReClaim, ReWork, ReUse’ project, sponsored by Bolton Council featured around 200 pieces of art made from discarded plastic, cardboard and carrier bags.
The university’s arts students worked on three mini projects:
‘Lost cities’ – this project created city scapes using cardboard
‘Junk Sculptures’ – artist and tutor Liam Ainscough helped students create an installation using found/discarded material
‘Fabric installation’ – this project used fabric to create eye-catching clothing
Bolton College students produced body adornments using materials provided by the council, including antique vinyl records, wires and household rubbish.
The pieces were judged by the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Elaine Sherrington, Acting Principal of Bolton College, Bill Webster and Head of the School of The Arts at the University of Bolton, Sam Johnson.
After much deliberation, the winning piece was a poncho made entirely of plastic carrier bags, which had been painstakingly crocheted by Annabelle Totty.
She said: “The inspiration for this was when I lived in Swaziland where my dad was helping to build a power station. One girl would make things from plastic bags and I would cut them all up for her so she could use the plastic to crochet whatever item she was making. I can’t believe I have won – I am delighted.”
Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, Nick Peel also attended the exhibition and added:
He said: “The students have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into this and the imagination displayed here today is wonderful. It also raises awareness about the importance of recycling and is part of our aim that we should get away from the idea of being a throwaway society.”
Textiles and Surface Design Lecturer at UoB’s School of the Arts, Rachel Dawson, who organised the project and exhibition was delighted and proud with the end result.
She said: “The work the students have done is amazing and they’ve also learned a lot about the importance of recycling. When I teach textiles and fashion I am passionate about sustainability. Every module I teach will use recyclable materials.”
A total of £101 was raised from ticket sales for the Mayor of Bolton’s charities.