Turning Waste Into Art

We joined in at the the first of the Norman Rea Gallery's art-making sessions for their upcoming Resuscitate exhibition.

Ever wondered what happened to the old D-Bar sofas? Last night, I found them being reincarnated into art as part of the Norman Rea Gallery’s new January exhibition, Resuscitate.

If you’ve been unfortunate enough to have not heard of the Norman Rea Gallery before, they’re a student-run, campus-based gallery just above Courtyard. Their new exhibition focuses on turning waste into art, channelled through the lens of surrealism and conceptualism. 

The exhibition is split into two parts, with Resuscitate: Volume 1 taking place this week. On Tuesday evening, I went along to their first art-making session. The room was filled with a range of objects they’d saved from the landfill; everything from the aforementioned D-bar sofas to white goods, strange retro electronics, and inflatable props. They were also kitted out with everything you might need to transform these objects. With music, snacks, and a very welcoming atmosphere, it made for a very vibrant and creative space. 

We got stuck-in quickly to the art-making session from objects from landfill.

Although I don’t have too much artistic experience, it was easy to get stuck-in, and before I knew it I’d turned some wool, old cables, and something called a ‘function generator’ into some kind of arachnid creature I’ve since named Betsie. However, my creation paled in comparison to the other creations I saw in progress.

My new friend Betsie.

There’s going to be a second art-making session at the Norman Rea Gallery this Thursday (27th), 6pm-9pm, that I definitely recommend attending if you’re feeling at all creative. It’s open to absolutely anyone, with any ability, and all you have to do is show up. 

Next week, on Monday 31st, Resuscitate: Volume 2 kicks off with their opening night of the exhibition. The exhibition itself will be made up entirely of the pieces from this week’s art-making sessions. The gallery space will be transformed into a simulated living space (think Ikea showroom but more out-there) which started out entirely as foraged rubbish. Based on what I’ve seen in the works, it’s definitely worth having a look. Opening night runs from 6:30pm until 9pm, but Resuscitate: The After Party continues into the night at The Drawing Board & Bluebox, led by Student DJs and students. 

After the exhibition is finished, all the resuscitated objects will be on sale for £5 each at the Resuscitate Object Sale and Clothes Swap on 12 February, with all profits going to York’s The Recycling Project and St. Nicks. Any further information about current and future events at the Norman Rea Gallery can be found on their Instagram account @normanreagallery.