Wow, it’s been a busy month talking rubbish!

I’ve been Brighouse Arts Festival 2018’s artist in residence at Brighouse Household Waste Recycling Centre and opened my end of residency exhibition at Smith Art Gallery and Brighouse Library. I had a brilliant time at the Recycling Centre and made some new work based on the ‘recyclables’ I found there and the ‘rubbish conversations’ I had with visitors and staff.

Somebody brought a paint tin of ‘Oro Antico’ yellow ochre paint to be recycled. It was from a relative’s house being decorated after a relationship breakdown. There were so many stories of loss and sadness at the Recycling Centre; house clearances after a bereavement, clear outs after a break up; broken objects beyond repair. I was really drawn to this yellow paint and dubbed it ‘Split Paint’. I was making some collages out of discarded printed material (magazines, books, leaflets) and come across some interior design magazines. I cut out some images of household objects and tore them in half. I went to Seagull Paint Recycling in Leeds and asked them to colour-match the ‘Oro Antico’ yellow ochre paint and used this to paint the missing half of the pictures.

I was also given a broken and repaired plate of Bishop Bonner’s Cottage in Dereham by a customer at the Recycling Centre after photographing some of their other rubbish. We got talking about our travels to Norfolk where my late mother was born and grew up and where the plate gifter still regularly visit. There is a Japanese art of mending objects with gold called Kintsugi (golden repair) so that the imperfection is highlighted as opposed to disguised. Inspired by this technique, I used my fake, colour-matched, ‘Oro Antico’ yellow ochre to paint over the heavily glued crack in the plate. This plate and my ‘Split Paint’ household objects pictures feature in my exhibition alongside a short film of selected objects I photographed and my self-published, small edition publication about my residency process. They are also online on my website and blog (links below).

I really have talked rubbish a lot this month! On 10 September, I went on Phoenix Radio to talk about my residency at Brighouse Household Waste Recycling Centre and also to talk about Dwell Time on World Suicide Prevention Day.

Dwell Time is a newspaper project of art, poetry and stories reflecting on mental wellbeing that I’m co-producing with my two artist-friends Vanessa Haley and Lenny Szrama. We ran an event called Interchange on the Penistone Line trains for National Poetry Day on the 4 October: reading out contributors’ poems about change and mental wellbeing. As well as reading out poems, we had some great conversations with the people who joined us on the trains.

Next month is slightly less hectic, but still with plenty more rubbish conversations to be had, plus Dwell Time planning for our launch programme for Penistone Art Week in March 2019. As well as some semi-structured interviews with other artists working with rubbish, I’m planning a series of artist peer group crits at Dean Clough in 2019 and our monthly Mothers Who Make Halifax meetings at The Artworks in Halifax and Word of Mouth in Hebden Bridge. MWM meeting details can be found on our facebook group:

More talking rubbish from me next month!

Alice Bradshaw

Museum of Contemporary Rubbish