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Hot mess: Scottish artist turns trash into treasure

Laura McGlinchey collected garbage and then washed it, ironed it, and put it on display.

Treasure: Laura McGlinchey has created an artwork out of trash.
Treasure: Laura McGlinchey has created an artwork out of trash.

An innovative Scottish artist has turned a pile of trash into artistic treasure.

Laura McGlinchey collected garbage and then washed it, ironed it, and has now put it on display.

The 28-year-old, from South Ayrshire, told STV News she has a compulsion to blur creative boundaries.

She said: "I have always been interested in making things from an early age and art has been my main focus since high school.

"I studied painting at Gray's School of Art where my main focus was on painting, but with a lot of freedom and encouragement out of typical conventions of painting, it sparked a compulsion to blur boundaries.

"I 'painted' for example with smoke bombs and found objects from my immediate surroundings and from the bar I was working in.

"I was always curious in objects which were surrounding me and art gave me the possibility to reinvent their materiality."

Glasgow: The artwork was created in collaboration with Offspace Offspace.
Glasgow: The artwork was created in collaboration with Offspace Offspace.

McGlinchey's exhibition, titled Trash (F*** off), is currently on display in Glasgow's Crown Street and launched Offspace Offspace, a mobile gallery space helmed by fellow MLitt painting pathway classmate Wassili Widmer.

McGlinchey said: "The whole project Offspace Offspace is site specific.

"I chose together with Wassili where we were going to do the exhibition first. Afterwards I decided to use the trash of the area as material for my work.

"I collected it, brought it back to the studio, washed and ironed it. Through the ironing process the pieces of trash would stick and melt together, it became like a curtain.

"On the curtain the elements I used are still visible, so you can find for example an M&M's package in it.

"The viewers can expect a re-composition of the space with a trashy flair and some deep sub-messages.

"The exhibition creates also an engagement with the people who want to see the work or even just are passing by.

"New discussions get built up and the idea of the work develops through the feedback of other people."

Widmer, who is originally from Switzerland, first came up with the idea of Offspace Offspace in reaction to the closing of many galleries and art spaces whilst living in Zurich.

Trash: Laura McGlinchey washed and ironed the rubbish.
Trash: Laura McGlinchey washed and ironed the rubbish.

The 26-year-old said: "I decided to build a mobile art space which can be placed wherever I want to.

"By doing this in the public space, the surrounding automatically becomes part of the show.

"I was very excited to launch the project here in Glasgow, especially because the city offers so many interesting spaces and the people are curious and talkative.

"The trash and the wind are two elements which are strongly linked to the city of Glasgow and the way Laura combined them created a very sensible and unique experience.

"Many thanks to Laura for her energy, creativity and positive spirit. The collaboration was a pleasure."

To keep up-to-date with Offspace Offspace and further exhibitions, go to facebook.com/offspaceoffspace.

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