Seeing Art and Beauty in Waste

Connector Fall 2018

submitted by Prof. Jolanta Wagner, Lodz, Poland

It has been several weeks since the end of the Conference Rolling Out the Recycling Red Carpetin Banff, in which I had the honour to participate. However, I still keep it in my mind and I can not forget the friendly people I met there.

Banff turned out to be a beautiful place located among the high threatening and picturesque Rocky Mountains.

I believe that organising a conference in such a place gives the participants a large portion of knowledge and, at the same time, a great relax after intensive lectures and discussions, because the conference time was really densely filled with many events.

There were 35 speakers. I was one of them and delivered a speech combined with a slides show entitled „Roll Out the Red Carpet for Recycled Art”. There were many interesting speeches but despite the best intentions I was not able to listen to all of them. I was most interested in lectures and presentations delivered by Leanne Olson, Tristan Surtees, Charles Blanc. They were excellent artists and good speakers. After listening to them, I felt like we had a similar viewpoint on the problem of waste. In addition to worry and anxiety, it often arouses admiration and even fascination.

I am grateful to the Organisers for taking me to the garbage sorting plant located in a beautiful place among the Rocky Mountains.

I still keep it in my memory and I am constantly impressed by this visit. I remember how attracted I was to both, the beauty of the colourful waste accumulated there and the beauty of the surrounding nature.

As an artist, I look at the realities around me in a special way.  I perceive waste to be an interesting material that can be transformed into a work of art. I am looking for things thrown away and collect them for both aesthetic and emotional reasons. I save them from annihilation just to keep the beauty hidden in them.

An interesting thing was that the exhibition of Canadian companies specialising in various forms of recycling accompanied the Conference. It was very informative for me. I had the opportunity to establish some personal contacts there.

I had the opportunity to create my site specific sculpture among the other exhibitors in the exhibition room. Some of the elements for its construction I have sent from Poland and some were provided by all participants of the Conference. As the result of this Polish-Canadian cooperation the 3D installation entitled „REJECTED EVERYDAY BEAUTY” was built.

Now I am back home full of experiences and impressions but also with satisfaction.

Dear Organisers, I would like to thank you that I could be there with all of you.

Jolanta Wagner