Two ‘partners in grime’ (groan) have skipped their way across Swansea on a photographic campaign to highlight environmental and ecological issues.
Swansea Met art and design students, Anni Skilton from Monmouth and Ally Birch-Probyn from Rhondda, have spent many months scouring Wales’ second city for skips and dressing up as characters associated with the items that have been found. They have recorded their antics in a portfolio of pictures illustrating ‘throw away Wales’.
Images captured include Anni taking a bath in an almost new bathroom suite and Ally dressed as a stressed housewife cooking dinner, following the discovery of an electric cooker. They have assumed the character of builders, reflecting a skip full of rubble and building materials, and as a ‘famous person’ on a piece of discarded red carpet.
Emphasising the strong environmental message, third-year photojournalism student Anni said: “We throw away too much, often in the form of litter which besmirches our communities.
“But the sheer waste is shocking. You just would not believe that there is a credit crunch or recession with the things that we find in the skips. Our photographs touch on environmental issues in a humorous manor.”
Foundation art student Ally added: “What we do is a form of guerrilla art. We don’t really ask for permission, we get in there, get the picture and get out! We are recycling people’s waste through art.
“It is amazing what you find in a skip. In one, we came across a nearly new sofa which was better than the one in our student digs!”
Although a lens-based photography project, the nature of the work lends itself well as a piece of performance art, regularly drawing in crowds of bemused onlookers. Despite the strange looks, Anni and Ally have had nothing but support in their quest.
Anni and Ally will display their work at an exhibition in the T3 Gallery in Brick Lane, London, this June.