Mapperley’s Sustainable Sculptor

Introducing Mapperley based artist Michelle Reader. Michelle reuses waste materials to create unique figurative sculptures. Her latest installation is at the Harley Gallery near Worksop. These incredible life size horse sculptures are on public view in the courtyard. They need to be seen to be believed.

Michelle told Mapperley People:

They represent an encounter between a prehistoric horse and a modern day racehorse. The sculptures make the link between The Harley Gallery and the prehistoric site at Creswell Crags, marking the start of a walking trail between the two sites. They are made almost entirely from architectural and agricultural salvage found on the Welbeck Estate, such as gate hinges, a measuring chain and a hay rake.

Michelle Reader

Michelle has worked with recycled materials since 1997. She makes bespoke recycled and sustainable sculptures for organisations, often created from waste materials relevant to the business or event.  Michelle also works with galleries, schools, and other organisations as a freelance artist educator.

With a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Scenography, Michelle moved from London to Nottingham in 2017. She has her studio at the Harley Foundation Workshops in Welbeck, where she creates her unique recycled sculptures from household and industrial waste combined with found objects sourced from charity shops and reclamation yards. 

Her sculptures sometimes have mechanical elements, using the working parts of old toys, clocks or other objects.  She often runs workshops for festivals, galleries and schools creating sculptures and installations from scrap materials. She also creates props, sculptures and models for theatre, product launches, events and photo shoots.

Michelle says:

I love the unpredictability of found materials and enjoy the inventiveness necessary to transform them into a sculpture.  I like to make work that is interactive and inviting, tactile and colourful.  The joy of working with found materials is the unexpected uses that can be found for them. For instance, an umbrella and a bucket combining to form the trumpet of a daffodil, two old oil cans forming the basis of a wind turbine, or the internal workings of an alarm clock becoming a mechanism for a propeller.

Michelle Reader

Mapperley is a friendly and optimistic place to live

Despite her studio being in north Nottinghamshire, Michelle tells us why she moved to Mapperley.

I chose Mapperley as it felt like a friendly and optimistic place to live, with a nice high street. Living at the city end of Mapperley means I can easily walk into the city centre or across to Sherwood and Carrington as well as to Mapperley Top,. I love having Woodthorpe Grange Park and St Ann’s Allotments on my doorstep. I love living on a hill too!

For more information on her work, take a look at her website by clicking HERE.

This JAGUAR sculpture was created for Unipart and BskyB in 2012. It is made from recycled satellite dishes, remote controls, metal brackets, cables, nuts and bolts. All materials used were reclaimed from Unipart’s recycling facilities in Rugby and Baginton, where they recycle materials for BSkyB.

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