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The Swap Shop

Submitted by Education on Fri, 21/06/2013 - 00:00

In line with National Recycle Week (which is happening right now by the way -18th to 24th June!) we did our bit to spread the recycle message last night…

With only one week to go until our Open Studios event takes place we decided it was high time to give the place a good clear up. Since that involves not only our Bow Road courtyard but also our artist studios we’ve all had to roll up our sleeves and pitch in – artists included. Yes, the prospect of absolute orderliness for what will presumably last for all of one blissful week is rather exciting to us. However, the prospect of endless amounts of rubbish and waste isn’t. Unfortunately, as anyone who doesn’t happen to be a chronic hoarder knows, tidying up also often means throwing stuff away. Something we’d ideally like to keep to a minimum. Torn between order and sustainability and unwilling to sacrifice either of the two, we decided to host a Swap Shop. Here’s what happened:

Throughout the week prior to the swap artists were given the opportunity to drop off old or unwanted items from their studios in our courtyard; the only limitation being that the items could potentially be useful to others. By Thursday we had accumulated some really good finds. To name but a few, we acquired a marvellous battleship-grey washing-up bowl….


…a spotless, still wrapped canvas….


…and this magnificent, Egyptian blue workbench…


Admittedly, since anyone could take what they fancied, whether they had contributed or not, it technically wasn’t a swap. Verging on pillage rather than exchange then, we’re thrilled to say that almost all of the donated items were successfully rehomed by the end of the night and the bin was left feeling ravenous.

A rough total of twenty items were swapped last night, which is a great achievement for our first Open artist swap shop. We’d love for this to grow in the future but are also willing to accept that our artists’ exemplary resourcefulness may simply prevent them from having anything to throw away in the first place.

Watch out for any future swap shop events we might host – the more people attend and contribute the more waste we prevent. In the meantime, for more information and ways in which you can participate in Recycle week visit the Recycle Now website.