Recycling and Artwork

recycled-art-cyclesArt and recycling goes hand-in-hand. Eco-artists are, nowadays, transforming old, recycled and resued object into amazing pieces of contemporary art. The trend started gaining prominence in 1980s when museums and galleries in the Western world opened their doors for such innovation and creativity.

In recent years, many artists in the Middle East has started expressing their support for recycling and sustainability through artworks where they merge traditional tone with contemporary themes creating attractive installation art that express local cultural heritage in the larger public interests. Artists are expressing their emotions and ideas through a wide range of recyclables glass, cans, plastics, CDs, PET bottles etc.

Installation Art and Recycling

This type of art is termed as Installation Art which is 3-dimensional work using common raw and natural materials to create an object with different messages directed to the viewers and the public audiences. Installation art can be expressed at any type of form like objects, videos, sound or even through the Internet. Interestingly, installation art is also considered a part of Renaissance where people can discover classical cultural movements like Surrealism and Futurism.

Many artists search for inspirations that surround them while others express their feelings in the artwork. Artists use recycled or reused objects to make attractive pieces of contemporary art and literally turn everyday trash into creative treasures. Some create compositions from recycled plastic bags or themed works for art galleries, while others create entire theme parks with trash, and even furniture from recycled materials. For example, if an artist has a penchant for collecting beverage cans, he/she might be interested in creating a replica of a famous building or monument.

Bristol’s whales sculpture is made of willow and 70000 plastic bottles

Artists can collect recyclable materials through public donations, collaboration with businesses or direct collection from solid waste stream. This innovative approach not only creates environmental awareness but also help in finding a good use for unwanted materials. For example, giant bottles made of recycled plastic bottles are tipped over on the grass at an art installation in North Evanston, Illinois. Approximately 6,000 small, clear plastic bottles were used to construct the five 16-foot bottles on display.

Mrs. Salwa Nabhan, a graphic design faculty at Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology, stresses the importance of using art and recycling in our daily life. She says, “Installation Art is good for the environment because it takes everyday objects and transforms it into a valuable artwork. This is because using raw or new materials can be expensive and people are limited with what they can buy”. The Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology Media students have already worked on such background creating 2D artworks by using recycled items like fabric leftovers, wood and paper to create collage of things.


Around the world, eco-artists are turning recyclables into creative pieces of art and thereby contributing to the Green Movement taking place in different spheres of life. Artists are finding innovative ways to show their concern for the environment and thus encouraging the masses to reuse, reduce and recycle for a better future. With waste disposal posing a serious environmental challenge in the Middle East, it is expected such initiatives will also spur governments to take concrete actions to ease the situation.

Recommended Resource: Types of Art to Celebrate Nature

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

About Fatima Al-Banna

Fatima Al-Banna is a bachelor student at Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology majoring in Business Administration and Marketing. Her environmental passion started at college with a mission to create and develop campaigns and projects to address the students and faculty impact at the campus in terms of the sustainability level through the support from her mentors. She is an environmental activist and has been a part of numerous green campaigns. She has initiated paper recycling projects and also runs Facebook page of her sustainability club in college, Sustain Our Society (SOS). Fatima has worked with Bee’ah in creating mass awareness on waste management strategies.

7 Responses to Recycling and Artwork

  1. Pingback: The Art of Recycling | Blogging Hub

  2. Pingback: Recycling Art - Everything You Need To Know To Create Recycled Art

  3. Megan Alder says:

    It’s so precious to see how art can be made off recycled material, which is one of the most harmful factors to mother nature. My husband and I just moved to a new house, and since we are environmentalists I do think this will be a great option to decorate some part s of our house. I will talk to him about this way to decorate our house, and start looking for a recycles artist.

    • Sam Schloss says:

      I have been creating and selling my recycled sculptures for the past 15 years.
      I live and work in Brooklyn NY .currently I have created a series of masks from found parts and materials.
      I also have done animal sculptures in welded metal parts, as well as commissioned pieces if you have a specific theme you are interested in.
      You can e mail me at my wife’s email address or call me on my cell at-

  4. Maybe I can offer you some ideas on functioning electronic sculptures

  5. Changing waste or used materials into useful objects or materials is called recycling. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Pingback: An Art Series to Slow Climate Change – Art & Resistance: Power to the People!

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.