Can we ever make waste-free art?

From upcycling to reducing packaging, artists look at how they can limit the damage their work does to the environment.

Our world is experiencing an environmental crisis largely fuelled by physical waste. Most households generate 13.8 million tonnes of municipal solid waste – better known as your everyday garbage – in a single year, according to the 2018 National Waste Report.

When we are aware of the damage waste causes to the environment, where does this leave us when it comes to the physical production of artworks? As an arts community, how can we continue to achieve the powerful benefits art brings to its practitioners and audiences – but in a way that places environmental sustainability at the forefront?

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Stephanie Eslake
About the Author
Stephanie Eslake is a Hobart journalist who writes arts criticism for national publications, one of which is Limelight Magazine. In 2017, she was named Hobart’s Young Citizen of the Year, and won the inaugural Kill Your Darlings New Critic Award. In 2018, she won the Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year Award (Arts). The former Mercury staff writer now works in higher education as a tutor and course content creator. She also volunteers her time to run Australia’s classical music publication CutCommon as its founding editor.  CutCommon was named one of the top 10 classical music projects in the world when it was shortlisted for the Classical:NEXT 2017 Innovation Award.