Lost and Found:
Michelle Reader’s Portrayal of Over-Consumption
Michelle Reader’s work spans the disciplines of sculpture, prop-making, and design for performance. She makes sculpture from recycled materials such as found objects, household waste, scrap wood, metal, and anything else that she can scrape up. She sometimes uses papier-mache or makes mechanical objects from the materials. There is a sensitivity to her work that goes beyond mere representation. She manages to create an almost living, breathing cast of quirky characters out of what was once refuse.
Reader’s implied commentary on over-consumption is even more pronounced in her day-to-day life. She runs workshops for festivals, galleries, and schools and creates sculptures and installations from scrap materials to promote recycling. The fox, for example, was made live at an event—the Recycling and Waste Management exhibition in Birmingham, England, September 2008.
The Mugridge family was created on a commission from a Borough Council. The sculptures were made from recyclables collected by the family, and will be used by the council at their recycling roadshows.
Reader’s recent creations include a giant chicken and rabbit for a shopping mall in Hong Kong; a pair of wearable mechanical wings; and a 5 meter-high Big Ben made from wheat (www.michelle-reader.co.uk).
Reader earned a BA in Fine Art (De Montfort University, Leicester, 1997), and an MA in Scenography (Central St Martins, London, 2003), and has been influenced by artists such as Rebecca Horn, Tony Cragg, Jean Tinguely, and Joseph Beuys.
Dale Cotton is a freelance photographer who specializes in the built environment. He photographs everything from manhole covers to street signs to the buildings of Frank Gehry. Dale has also worked as an editor, producer, and art director/designer in the book publishing industry in Seattle, New York, Boston, and Princeton.
ARTICLES BY DALE COTTON
Altered Spaces – Art & Architecture: Blowing Apart the Rectangle, Behind the Scenes at Frank Gehry’s New Building
Altered Spaces-From Warsaw Ghetto to Darfur
Altered Spaces – Art & Architecture: Shake Your Money Maker
Altered Spaces: Taliban Portraits
Altered Spaces – Sex, Art, Culture, and Princeton Modern Architecture: Inside Photographer Dale Cotton’s New Book
Lost and Found: Michelle Reader’s Portrayal of Over-Consumption