Transforming waste to art

Transforming waste to art

07 June 2022

Public school life In the news

Two Perth schools have collaborated for an exhibition featuring captivating art made from waste to raise awareness about the environment and consumer habits.

John Forrest Secondary College students have transformed waste into striking wearable art as part of a Year 12 art project.

John Forrest Secondary College student Rebekah Msapenda modelling the student artwork. Photo by: Year 12 media student Michaela Strahan.

The project involved students making a piece of contemporary jewellery from waste materials considered useless outside the creative realm.

The materials were sourced from Environment House in Bayswater and were leftover from a sculpture project the school did with Year 9 students in 2019.

The artwork was showcased at an exhibition at Ellis House Art Centre in Bayswater.

John Forrest Secondary College visual arts teacher Gail Bailey said the students learnt about waste and consumer habits while working on the project.

“Waste materials provide an abundant, though often ignored, resource for artists,” she said.

“Through their work, they elevate the status of trash as materials for creating fine art, and as a conduit for raising awareness of the dangers in our rapidly increasing and accelerating consumer habits.”

The exhibition also features artwork from Durham Road School, the largest Education Support School in Western Australia.

Students used waste to create art that featured themes of family, belonging, self-identity and connectedness, and learnt about Aboriginal art during the process.

Meanwhile secondary students at Durham Road School involved in the school’s enterprise program, which teaches students skills needed for the workplace, sorted and washed plastics at a nearby factory.

The plastics were then used to create plant stands and coasters. This project helped students develop their independence and sense of self.