A New Exhibition is Tackling the Issue of Waste

By Ellie Smith

2 years ago

Surplus materials are being transformed into artworks

A new show launching at The Royal Exchange will emphasise the benefits of a circular economy, bringing together the worlds of art, design and fashion.

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The Crossover Project

The brainchild of Aurelia Islimye, founder of avant-garde art gallery Bleur, and design journalist Roddy Clarke, The Crossover Project will showcase a selection of artworks created through surplus and leftover materials from design brands, furniture designers and fashion houses. Aurelia and Roddy hand-picked a roster of exciting artists to take part, tasking them with transforming unfamiliar ingredients into unique pieces of art.

Aurelia Islimye and Roddy Clarke

Aurelia Islimye & Roddy Clarke

Tapping into the current trend for immersive exhibitions, The Crossover Project will have an interactive element, allowing visitors to have a go at creating their own works using waste materials. A series of talks and workshops will also run alongside the show, where industry experts will explore the ways in which the creative sectors can team up to be a positive force for change.

Another key aim of the project is to highlight diverse voices in the art world, giving space for emerging artists to shine. The line-up includes Emmanuel Unaji, Nicole Chui, Jemima Sara, Joanna Layla, Eva Merendes, Oscar T Wilson, Sabrina Brouwers, Tyler Watson and Sophie Rawlingson, alongside established environmental artist David Buckland.

Emmanuel Unaji, The Crossover Project

Emmanuel Unaji

All artworks in the show will also be available to buy in a silent auction, hosted by The Auction Collective, with a portion of the profits going towards the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity which works with businesses to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Jemima Sara

Jemima Sara

On its website, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation highlights circular economy as being based on three key principles: eliminate waste and production, circulate products and materials (at their highest value) and regenerative nature. Working towards this model is more crucial than ever before. It’s estimated that 87 per cent of clothing ends up in landfill, and 141 tonnes of waste is produced by the packaging industry. The Crossover Project aims to raise awareness of these critical issues – and point towards potential solutions.


The exhibition will take place at The Royal Exchange from 22 June – 8 July 2022.


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