Creative group ScrapAntics, who salvage big business cast-offs, are showcasing their artistic endeavours in the heart of Dundee.
Formed in 2016, community recycling specialists ScrapAntics plough all their profits back into grassroots projects across the city.
The Meadow Mill-based company’s major success has been breathing new life into more than 20 tonnes of industrial waste annually to enhance the lives of residents of all ages.
And they hope to raise awareness of their work with their inaugural art show in the Wellgate Centre.
Brechin-based artist Kate Tweddle started working with ScrapAntics earlier this year and says she hopes the Wellgate exhibition will bring attention to its achievements.
“There’s a great diverse range of work on display,” says Kate, 34.
“There’s everything – textiles, jewellery, painting, photography and both stained glass and installation work.
“We’ve got a film with a spoken word piece as well that was created as part of one of the projects. So there’s lot of different artistic pieces, and we’re using it as a chance to show people what ScrapAntics does.”
Art with community at its heart
Kate explains that as well as recycling, the group takes part in community outreach too.
“We’ve got a big display about Loose Parts Play, which is basically diverting industrial waste from landfill and redirecting it back into the community as a play resource – think tires, cable reels, everything like that.
“We take those and we facilitate play sessions, particularly for children in areas of deprivation in Dundee.
“The show is a chance for the members to have their work exhibited, but it’s also about showing everyone who comes along what we get up to and how they can become involved.”
Kate, who graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone art school in 2009, says the event’s aimed at all ages. “Definitely, and from all different backgrounds as well,” she adds.
“The whole point of ScrapAntics is we’re for the whole community.
“Unfortunately, because of Covid we haven’t been able to do any specific events or anything around the show where we invite everyone to come at one time, but we’d like to make it clear that we’re extremely welcoming.
“We really want people to come in and and just have a chat. Hopefully we can reach out and benefit as many people as we can in the community.”
A New Look for old shop
Comprising more than 50 pieces of work, the show benefits from an impressively expansive setting at the shopping centre, provided courtesy of Generator Projects.
“They’re renting the space from the Wellgate for a year and they’ve asked different community organisations to hold exhibitions there,” she adds.
“They’re highlighting all these positive things that are going on around Dundee and it’s a huge space. It’s the old New Look that was in the Wellgate on level two and it’s massive and bright.
“It has such a wow factor when you walk in and see this art and this colour everywhere in what’s essentially an amazing gallery space.
“We’re really, really grateful to have it.”
Although the likes of Kate and her partner Elaine Maher have been instrumental in many of ScrapAntics’ recent artistic endeavours, it’s two other players on the Dundee scene that have shouldered the burden of the members’ exhibition.
“”A lot of the work that was done in the Generator project was unpaid, most of it is volunteered just because we all wanted to be part of it,” Ms Tweddle explains.
“The main people who organised the show were Kate Willats and Siobhan Morrison.
“Both Kate and Siobhan – who’s a sculptor – have quite a lot of work in the exhibition, and most of the employees have also put a piece in, as well as many volunteers.”
Reduce, reuse… repeat!
As the group’s first-ever members’ show gains traction, Kate admits that she hopes it will become a regular occurrence.
“I can imagine it becoming an annual event,” she states.
“Everyone has really enjoyed it, and we have so many projects.
“I think a yearly members’ show would be quite likely because we’d like to keep people up to date with what we’re doing.
“The community aspect is really important to us and the members have really pulled together to make something that they hope the public will enjoy and engage with.
“Hopefully that’s enough to get people interested and get them down to have a look.”
The show is open daily from 12pm-5pm until Sunday July 25.