Apparently, it’s all coming to a head in Bisley

Filed in Blog by on January 29, 2009 10 Comments
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gavin mcclaferty artist makes heads from recycled rubbishHave you figured out what this fantastic ‘head’ is made from yet?

It took me some time – I could see the meat tray face straight away, and the dummies for eyes, I even figured out the nose, but what about the red neck? That had me well and truly stumped.
Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to the artist himself; Gavin McClafferty, to find out exactly what this work of art is made from and what he’s been up to.

Gavin has been working with the residents of six households in the village of Bisley to turn their rubbish into art during zero waste week. Each family had the chance to work with Gavin and make their rubbish into ‘heads’ of a family member!

Gavin has been working with local residents as part of “The Issue of Waste Has Come to a Head in Bisley” project which has won Arts Council Lottery funding and is supported by Stroud District Council.

An exhibition of the portraits is being shown during Zero Waste Challenge Week, 26th January to 1st February at Bisley Parish Council’s Pavilion Club House, Van Der Breen Street, Bisley with a celebratory event at the end of the residency on Saturday 31st January from 4 to 7pm.
So if you’re free, why not pop in and take a look?

I asked Gavin to share his thoughts about zero waste and what had struck him during this project. He said “The interesting thing about this project for me so far is that there appears to be a majority consensus on the need for recycling and an overwhelming sense of despondency towards the continued use of plastics. The people don’t want it, they don’t want to buy it, are embarrassed by and want it to stop.

Everyone one on the project bar one family recycles, to a greater or lesser degree. What has occurred to me is that those who don’t recycle probably cant or simply don’t care! I personally feel that there is a sufficient burden on households to recycle & compost,  reuse & refuse i.e. the message is out there and is reaching the people who are prepared to listen. This means its time to focus on to the producers of the stuff, these are the real VILLANS.

A lack of action by industry is a real crime, the remainder of the non-recyclers (those who don’t care- the ‘passives’) will not change, I reckon they would adopt a greater degree of contrariness if pushed, so lets leave them to one side and introduce zero waste strategies for industry. This could take the form of funded direct assistance, talks, visits, waste-audits and suggestions. Suggestions, for instance, could be made by the workforce, adopted policies could be rewarded by the company and topped up by a dividend from the landfill tax. Tackling industrial waste is the real battle ground, has always been, and will continue to be.”

I think many people will agree with Gavin’s sentiment. As householders, it is imperative that we play our part, but a positive change from one manufacturer could automatically affect every household in the country.

I’d like to extend my thanks to Gavin for sharing this wonderful photo with us; I think you’ll all agree it looks great and it raised a chuckle from me. It’s good to bring humour into serious issues without losing the thrust of what zero waste week is all about.

You can see more of Gavin’s art on his website.

Oh, and the red neck? answers in the comments section please!


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (10)

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  1. Kris says:

    I’m not massively confident in this guess, but I think it looks like a drawer or cupboard knob from children’s furniture.

  2. maisie says:

    I would say the top off a dishwasher or laundry liquid bottle

  3. Grandma Green says:

    My guess would be the plastic screwtop from a jar of instant coffee.

  4. Sarah says:

    A jar lid of some sort I think.

  5. It’s beautifully shaped whatever it is. I love this face Mrs G. There is one thing that really gets my goat regarding certain manufacturer’s packaging decisions and it is when they design over-fanciful packaging on the basis that it can be used for something else. Now it’s all very well, making something that has a future reuse, but if it’s a heavily used consumable, which needs replacing every month, all that means is that the consumer is left with packaging that is harder to get rid of because “it might come in handy” or it’s a bigger waste if it is just dumped in landfill. The strategy should be sustainable refills that can be recycled as well as compostable alternatives or designing out packaging alltogether if it has no waste minimisation function. Anyway, art and creative design are great components of any promotion for zero waste. It reaches out to people on a completely different level. 😀 x

  6. Mrs Green says:

    Well, it is a plastic lid, but none of you have figured out what from yet 😉

    Love your thoughts, Mrs A and I agree with you.

  7. Sarah says:

    Could it be a lid from baby formula? Looks like the nose is a scoop from baby formula. Kind of shocking to think that a tiny baby could produce so much waste.

  8. Mrs Green says:

    Oooo, Sarah – not quite! Great guess though 😀

  9. Kris says:

    C’mon – tell!!

  10. Mrs Green says:

    A Canderel lid 😀

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