London based artist Michelle Reader delights us with colourful, mechanical style sculptures made from household and industrial waste, creating pieces for clients that not only are amazing realistic constructions but also weave a story by her choice of materials. She works with schools, galleries, corporate businesses to create outstanding pieces for displays and events. She also works as a freelance artistic educator as well as maintaining a personal portfolio of work
Most of her work, whether for galleries or corporate venues, has a strong environmental connection, as you might expect with an upcycling artist. She features many animals and figures in her work to discuss the effect we as humans are having on the planet. What interests me most however are the corporate commissions as it feels like a great step for big businesses to take, highlighting their own wastefulness, when they are often guilty of overlooking their affect on the world and focusing on profit instead.
There is no better way to describe the process then by the artist herself. In her arstic statement she describes the process and result of using these found objects in the creation of a family portrait.
‘The choice of materials can also be a key part of the story of a piece. In 2008 I created a portrait of a family made from a month’s worth of their own 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. 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. My sculptures draw attention to environmental issues in an aesthetic, humorous and non-confrontational way’
Though most of her work is commissioned based she does have some available pieces on her website and works with several galleries in London, putting on educational workshops As with all upcycling artists i am amazed at the range and imagination within each piece of work. For more photos of her work and to see where more of her pieces are being displayed, visit Michelle Readers website