Trash & Treasure: the things we leave behind
Photographs by Kim Sargent-Wishart
F Project Gallery, 14 Feb-11 March 2018
Trash & Treasure is a photographic study of things that are often overlooked, namely litter found at the beaches and parks in Warrnambool and Port Fairy. The work grew out of my practice of Miksang contemplative photography. Miksang (Tibetan for ‘good eye’) is about discovering beauty in the everyday world by shaking up our habitual ways of seeing. By focusing on the basic elements of visual perception like colour, texture, and pattern, Miksang allows anything to become treasure, even if it’s also trash.
Like the ubiquitous second-hand stall at a school fair, Trash & Treasure is a reminder that value is ambiguous, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Through its subject matter, the work also questions single-use packaging, wrappers, party ribbons, and the like, that, once used, really have no place to go. The shiny wrapper that once enticed from the store shelf, the take-away cup that held that cherished hot coffee – these things remain just as shiny and intact once tossed away. In their usefulness, they were treasure for a very short time before becoming trash. By reclaiming them as a kind of treasure once more, I hope to draw attention to our habits of consumption and selective awareness, as well as suggesting new ways of seeing and appreciating the ordinary world.
I will also be in residence at the F Project Artist Residence March 5-12, offering two workshops, school excursions and an artists’ talk (see below).
Here are some of the large prints fresh off the printer at Bell’s Fine Art Printing in Geelong. It’s my first time having my work professionally printed and it was like magic watching them emerge. I might never go back to a photo machine again!
Article in the Warrnambool Standard by Rebecca Riddle.
For more on my ongoing Trash & Treasure project, see here.