2006 – 2008

Re-Toyed Trash was a project encouraging people to re-use existing materials and found objects to create something really unique. Sometimes the workshops would feature a visiting artist showing in their own style the possibilities of re-using materials. The workshops allowed anyone to creatively participate and make things from junk; Artists work alongside Non-Artists, giving all democratic access. As each maker develops their own individual interpretation of an art object when given the use of scrap materials to create something, no two works created at the workshops are the same. Individuals are then offered the opportunity of having their creations exhibited physically in an exhibition and on the Re-Toyed Trash blog.

Bot view 2

This project developed with each new audience providing a new source of creativity. It exists across a range of platforms; on the Internet, in printed documentation, in exhibitions and in the workshops. The project can be taken to almost any venue or event.

It has already utilised the following spaces:

  • a bar: the Fab Café, Leeds
  • a gallery/studio/shop: theartmarket, Leeds
  • an art college: Leeds College of Art & Design
  • festivals: Ladyfest Leeds 2007; Situation Leeds: Contemporary Artists and the Public Realm 07; Moor Music Festival, Ilkley 2007; Innocent Village Fete, London 2007 and Lovebox Weekender, London 2008
  • a church: the Holy Trinity Church, Boar Lane, Leeds
  • a school: Cathedral School, Wakefield College, Wakefield
  • and a community centre: Crafty Folk, Knottingley



Leeds Degree Shows Adventure documents my journey around Leeds Fine Art degree shows at University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University in 2006 and 2007. The photographs explore my own interaction with other graduate’s work. Playfully negotiating ideas around Authorship, an Artists’ Ego, Art Education and Artwork-as-backdrop it relates to my own position as a recent Artist Graduate.

The project uses audience and artist interactions with the work as the central focus. The photographs are documents of interactions already taken place.

Credits: Emma Cooper (photography, 2006), Joe Mawson (photography, 2007) & Leeds Metropolitan University and University of Leeds Fine Art graduates 2006-2007