Waste not, want not art on display
Upcycling taken to another level in UCLan’s free Degree Show 2023
Environmental concern about waste was the inspiration for a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student’s eye-catching final year art project.
Hannah Shaw-Giles reused a wide variety of unwanted materials from charity shops to create vibrant and interesting new pieces of art work, which are now on display at a free public exhibition in Preston.
The 22-year-old, from Ulverston, sourced four canvas prints from charity shops, unearthed a slab of kitchen countertop, used stale household emulsion paint and found other unrecyclable materials to use for her BA (Hons) Fine Art showpiece.
Hannah, who received the Tom Buckroyd Award, said: “My practice was developed out of concern for the environment and therefore everything I use has been discarded.
“I’ve used old canvases as a base and created recycled painted textures on top of them. I’ve even used the metal lid off the paint pot as a foundation for a smaller piece of hanging art.
“I hope that art can be one less stressful, less invasive solution to the climate crisis based on creative innovation with material we all have in our own households. I work to grant unwanted objects a new purpose and function, thus creating a new materiality for the items I collect, and I seek to harness the by-products of consumerism through a creative act of responsibility.”
"I’ve used old canvases as a base and created recycled painted textures on top of them. I’ve even used the metal lid off the paint pot as a foundation for a smaller piece of hanging art"— UCLan fine art student Hannah Shaw-Giles
The former Ulverston Victoria High School and Ulverston Victoria Sixth Form pupil came to UCLan to study Korean but quickly decided that wasn’t a subject for her.
“I’ve always been a painter and needed a way to combine my passion for sustainability with a creative outlet,” she said. “Fine art took me in and here I am three years later. I loved the studio culture. Having an open-plan layout and being able to chat to other people while you work has been fantastic. Our tutors have also been so supportive - it’s been a joy to come in every day.”
Hannah, who was nominated for The Freelands Foundation Painting Prize and the New Blood Art Emerging Art Prize, will see her work on public display at UCLan’s free Degree Show 2023, which runs until 26 June.
Taking place across three buildings on the Preston Campus, design, fashion and media undergraduates’ work will be exhibited in Victoria Building. In Hanover Building the creations from fine art, photography and foundation level art, design and media students will be displayed while the final year projects of architecture students can be seen in the Engineering Innovation Centre.
She added: “I’m excited to share my work with the public! I don’t want to close myself off into a corner, I want to get people involved with environmentalism in a gentle way.
“I would like to pursue a career as a professional practicing artist. Involving communities and children is an ambition for the future – my work is so messy, I’m sure kids would love to get their hands dirty while also gently learning about the impact of consumerism through art.”