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Trash produces sensational artwork

What’s trash to some is treasure to others. And, for the inventive, discarded objects are a bountiful source of art materials.

Hobart’s annual Art from Trash exhibition graphically illustrates that offcuts of wire, newspaper plastic wrap, foil pie dishes, spent light bulbs, old CDs and recycled wood, fabric and paper are perfect for creating an ingenious artistic statement or even a masterpiece.

And the list of reusable items doesn’t stop there. It’s virtually endless and there are plenty of self-styled artists who can dream up weird, wonderful and challenging creations to give new life to plastic milk containers, broken mirrors, stamp collections or crockery fragments.

Art from Trash has been running for 15 years and attracts exhibits from professional artists, rank amateurs, recycling enthusiasts and school children.

Teacher turned Environment Division project officer Annie Beecroft has entered a floral sculpture in this year’s exhibition made from e-waste including wire and globes. It is typical of the fabulous table centrepieces Annie motivated Tasmanian students to create for the Tasmanian Awards for Environmental Excellence.

But it’s not just decorative art that graces the Art from Trash exhibition space at the Long Gallery.

Store mannequins abound modelling trendy outfits fashioned from a variety of fabric including newspaper plastic wrap. One exhibit entitled "Wrapped", by Jen Newton, won the Mojo Wearable Art Award.

A colourful mandala incorporating a much-loved stamp collection by the Healy Van Elten Collective is very eye catching and the gentle ticking of a collection of wall clocks "Time" by Lisa & Ronnie are made from recycled vinyl records and CDs.

The Grade 3 Innes class at Lenah Valley Primary have put their canteen lunch waste to good use by creating a huge fish fashioned from aluminium pie plates.

Art from Trash is a labour of love for the Resource Work Co-operative Society based at the Hobart tip shop.
Its Education Officer Andy Vagg said entries increase by up to 30 per cent each year and many of the exhibits have been sold.

This year 80 works are on show and a huge crowd of 600 turned out for the opening.

"We welcome exhibits from everyone. It’s open to all the community," Andy said.

"It is tremendous that teachers and their students get involved."

Andy’s next immediate project is a September school holiday workshop at the Moonah Arts Centre.

He intends make a ship from recycled materials, including the programs remaining from this year’s Ten Days on the Island event.