Full Circle; art from recycled waste

Full Circle was born when Medway Council decided to close the only at gallery in town in Gillingham Library. It had been a beautiful, calm space to visit and was sadly missed by local artists and the general public. Aa group of artists and writers set up by Tina Lawlor Mottram encourage people to join in the campaign and to use their local waste to join in the collective exhibition. Funded by the Arts Council, the Allan Willett Foundation, the Co-operative Dividend Fund, Medway Council and local businesses.

Art from recycled waste.

Funding was awarded to the group from the Arts Council in 2005 to work with local children and the community to change attitudes about waste and recycling.

We held community meetings about recycling at Sunlight Centre, encouraging local politicians, artists and business people to talk about their recycling efforts.

We held art competitions in schools and in the local library, where we also displayed the “stars” made from recycled material from all our entrants.

We displayed the stars made in shop windows and our local library and we decorated the Sunlight Cafe with a Christmas tree made from recycled material, helped by children from Saxon Way school.

Funded by the Arts Council, Medway Council, the Allan Willett Foundation and the Co-op Dividend Fund.

Artwork exhibited by artists was displayed all over the High Street, with local businesses allowing us to ‘decorate’ their shops.  An alternative to tinsel at Christmas!

We continued our school project work the following year, giving art workshops and looking for entries for art and writing competitions.

Some of the artwork produced by children for our art competition of art from recycled waste
All made from recycled material, entries from children and adults, schools and community groups.

Entries were received Under 5, 5-8, 9-11, teenage and adults. The judges were overwhelmed and delighted!

Tina Lawlor Mottram, Project Manager, visited schools with artists to get children creating stars for display on Gillingham High St, which local shops displayed in their windows. Over 1,000 entries were received for the competition which was judged at Sunlight Centre by artists.

A Christmas tree made entirely from waste, was Tina’s contribution to the project. Working with children from Saxon Way primary school, a “tree” was built in reception at the Sunlight Centre. TV cameras came to view the work and the Mayor of Medway came to cheer the children on. Sunlight also asked people to write messages of peace and love and to hang these on our tree.

The competition asked children of all ages to make a star to hang as part of the Christmas decorations. Stars made by 1,000 local children decorated the Sunlight Centre for one whole month and on the High St people were amazed to see decorations in participating shops and cafes. Greggs on the High Street still has pictures of the show on its walls. Some locals were a bit sceptical but many congratulated us on our green approach to Christmas and came along to sign in at our opening launch held outside the Co-op supermarket in Gillingham.