Salvaged Art – Michelle Reader

A short documentary about the London-based artist Michelle Reader, who reuses waste materials to create sculptures.
Director: Marco De Luca. DOP: Cristian Mantio.Editor: Valentina Massimi.

Since 1997, London-based artist Michelle Reader has been working to make waste/recycled materials into unique figurative sculptures, incorporating mechanical elements such as the working parts of toys, clocks or other objects. Her materials come from both household and industrial waste (city dumps, roadsides, thrift shops etc.) and are relevant to the business or event. “I love the unpredictability of found materials and enjoy the inventiveness necessary to transform them into a sculpture. […] I try wherever possible to use materials that are reclaimed, things with a history that have been discarded and might otherwise end up in landfill.”

One of her most famous works is the “Seven Wasted Men”, a family portrait that was made from one month of household waste.


“The materials not only highlight a need to address the amount of waste each of us produces, but also tells the story of each individual through the things they discard—a child’s drawings, a shopping list, a birthday card.”

My intention is to draw attention to environmental issues in an aesthetic, humorous and non-confrontational way, whilst minimising the environmental impact of the materials and processes used to create the sculptures. For me, part of the thrill of working with found materials is the discovery of new uses for everyday objects. For instance, an umbrella becoming a skirt, deconstructed remote controls becoming the spots of a jaguar, or a bucket and umbrella combining to form the trumpet of a daffodil.” – Michelle Reader.




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