Gallery exhibition is rubbish!

Words and photos by Dave Barry 

Rubbish washed up on the beaches has been imaginatively recycled into a work of art.

Plastic bottles, lengths of rope, sandcastle moulds, mini-spades, play-balls and sunglasses are among the litter harvested by Janet White and members of the public.

Janet, who has had a studio residency at Crescent Arts since 2015, has arranged her collection of detritus in the middle of the floor of the long room at Scarborough Art Gallery.

She is one of four local artists who have mounted an exhibition based on plastic pollution; the others are Kane Cunningham, Rachel Messenger and Justin DL.

Using the foraged materials, they have produced artwork inspired by seascapes depicted in the gallery’s collection.

Supermarket group Proudfoot indirectly commissioned the artists with a £2,500 grant to Scarborough Museums Trust. The money was raised from the sale of 5p carrier bags.

The trust hopes the exhibition will become a community project, highlighting local people’s pride in protecting the town’s beautiful coastline.

Collections manager Jennifer Dunne said: “The recycling issues that prompted the introduction of charges for plastic bags and the environmental problems facing our seas due to rising plastic pollution made us reconsider how to approach our next exhibition”.

Proudfoot director Valerie Aston added: “Despite seeing a huge decline in the sale of carrier bags in our stores, following the introduction of the 5p charge, we were delighted that the funds raised from the remaining carrier bags bought by customers are able to support some fantastic local causes”.

The exhibition runs until 6 January.