London based Artist Joshua Sofaer has been creating art out of trash for many years. It would not be uncommon to see him searching for his next materials inside a dumpster. However, Sofaer is not hunting for trash to save money but rather to give more attention to the waste issue going on throughout the world. Vast amounts of materials are unnecessarily being thrown away on a daily basis, and this Artist plans help grow awareness through his art.
Sofaer is quite popular in the United Kingdom and many of his fans refer to him as Mr. Garbage. With his expanded notoriety, the Artist known as Mr. Garbage plans to use popularity to make more people aware of the negative effects of waste on the environment. To get the most out of his efforts, Sofaer has organize his biggest exhibit to date, called The Rubbish Collection.
For 30 days Sofaer and his extensive team will be processing, archiving, and examining every piece of trash that is thrown away at London’s Science Museum. After the month is over, Sofaer will put The Rubbish Collection on display at the Museums’ Climate Changing exhibit. It is expected that over 17,000 pounds of garbage will pass through the trash team before making to its final destination.
“I thought sorting through rubbish was going to be a necessary evil,” says Sofaer, “but people are really getting into it. There are personal stories in every single bag. Like all the kids’ lunches – Thomas has accidentally thrown away his mum’s spoon with the yoghurt, Milly’s left her fruit. We’ve found £5.08 in cash so far, so we are getting a piggy bank to see how much real money is thrown away.”
The essential concepts of the project are clear. Sofaer wants to give people the opportunity to visually understand the amount of waste that humans are tossing away. However the Artist also stresses The Rubbish Collection shall showcase the real value in the materials that are unwanted by some. Sofaer credits past Artists of the 1960’s that have had similar ideals and have truly inspired this project.
This is not the only creative project that Mr. Garbage has performed to spread awareness about waste. A couple years ago, Sofaer posted publicly clues about different junk throughout London and people brought them to him and formed an exhibition. He has also taken his talents outside the United Kingdom. Mr. Garbage created the Rubbish Library of Japan which is a collection of reading materials that have been previously thrown away.
Mr. Garbage does his research and has been known to spend weeks with homeless or poor groups learning first hand how to scavenge. For The Rubbish Collection, Sofaer toured incinerators and waste disposal centers around England. It is just a matter of time before he is a real sanitation worker.
The Rubbish Collection is currently on display for those interested in seeing what a month’s worth of waste really looks like. Mr. Garbage is helping others value the things that we throw away. Hopefully this positive trend makes it way to the United States from Europe.