Ordinary Trash, Unusual Beauty. A look at utilising and recycling trash to make beautiful objects.

Ordinary Trash, Unusual Beauty – Originally published on 13/02/2022

Ordinary Trash, Unusual Beauty

OTUB (2022) is an installation project by Joshua Obara Norwood that explores using commonly trashed items and repurposing them into objects of beauty and aesthetics.

It continues a recurring theme of Joshua’s work with environmental issues and “trash art” (see the Suffocation Clothes). It allows the “explorer” of the installation to enter the room and feel the atmosphere of repurposed trash. Interaction is not advised due to sharp edges on the ceramic works.

Why does trash have to be trash? Why can’t we convert it into something beautiful and something that boosts our mood? Such that these colourful additions to your interior landscape shift your mood- and this installation work aims to prove this.

Craft Waste (2022)

Craft waste is an ironic twist on turning waste into materials commonly used to create items that are often wasted. Therefore, making the faux fabric with paper and the items commonly used in designing clothes. Fast fashion is one of the biggest polluters on this planet- and we’re putting it as one of the main narratives on entering the installation.

Black Swan, Trash Flower & The Nile (2022)

The two bottles in this work used to be wine bottles – wine tends to be something that ages. Glass is similar to that; it doesn’t decompose. So why don’t we make it one of the significant additions to the artwork? Hence the project’s common theme is to re-use the objects that take hundreds of years to be decomposed and repurpose them so we don’t damage the environment. Thus explaining the reference to the Nile notes that once the Nile used to be one of the world’s fertile rivers, now it has been polluted- mainly due to trash being thrown into it.

Wine Cabinet (2022)

Utilising my student accommodations shelves in the room- I used one of them to create a fake wine cabinet to place the recycled wine bottles. Then I used random colours to create a variety that replicates the wine types that exist. Consequently is also a nod to the point that most plastic waste is un-reusable due to having colours on the plastic.

Processed or Raw? (2022)

The colourful milk container is contrasted by a black milk container. Essentially it creates a contrast that has been created to show how much better for humanity if we buy local- the bright milk container is raw milk. Raw milk is bought directly from a farmer in contrast to the coldness of buying milk from a supermarket. Thus supporting the farmer- if you purchase anything from them directly. We have no idea what supermarkets pay the farmers, and we, the UK, should be in charge of restoring agriculture. This is to bring to the conversation that those people who complain of having nothing local- why don’t they research about farms near them? Consequently, we should buy British. Go out there and support the economy if you can!

Detergent is Death! (2022)

The laundry detergent bottle is black with a white cloth underneath it. The white is a symbol of the foaming that a fish could do if they digest the chemicals inside the detergent bottle. Evidently, the bottle is black to evoke sadness of what we’re doing to this planet by improperly disposing of these products. How can we have humanity if we don’t treat our own world with the humanity we want from each other? Contrastingly, this is also a reaction to the garbage bin that was left in the River Mersey for a couple of years with the council not doing anything.

Pills (2022)

The glitz on the pill bottle is to show how we humans get addicted to artificial chemicals. They’re so great that they treat symptoms!.. but they’re not recyclable. This raises the question- if we have a prescription why don’t we get the right number we need until treatment is over instead of getting a set amount. Accordingly would that not reduce waste? Or! We could use the leftovers for artwork!