Rubbish turned into fossils of the future

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ONE person’s trash is another’s treasure – as proved by a new exhibition.

Artists have been putting the theory into practice by creating fossils of the future, floating parcels and a sky made of soldiers from discarded and recycled objects.

Hearts and Minds, created by Wearside-based artist Barrie West and University of Sunderland lecturer Angela Sandwith, is on display until Saturday, May 10, at Newcastle Arts Centre.

The exhibition centres on the need for nurture and protection in the world, and for the intrinsic values and morals of the family to be passed down through the generations. The exhibition uses discarded, recycled and found objects to examine these ideas.

It is a collection of work which looks at the influences and effects of the family on the growing child. The art is challenging and uses a wide variety of materials, from found objects to manufactured objects to textiles.

Some of the art on show will be the fossils from the future, a wall that will never be finished, items dubbed ‘the naughtiest underwear in the world’ as the underwear is transparent, floating parcels, a sky made of soldiers, strange man-birds, grumpy old men’s gripes and high street fashion from packaging.

“I have strong ethical concerns about recycling,” says Angela who is strand leader for design and technology at the University of Sunderland. “Materials are important to my work and I use them as metaphors. I have included a 1950s cot in Hearts and Minds; not just any cot but it is my cot that I used as a child. This found object informs the art – without it, a different message would be portrayed.”

“There is always a powerful resonance from found objects,” adds Barrie, “the object’s previous use and previous existence inform the art and the message.”

•The exhibition is free to enter and is open between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Saturday at Newcastle Arts Centre, in Westgate Road.