Approved: 16.08.2006

Michelle Reader

Approved: 16.08.2006

My work spans the disciplines of sculpture, prop-making, installation and design for performance. I create recycled and mechanical sculptures, wearable art, and objects that interact with performers. My sculptures are usually figurative representations of people, animals or buildings.

The direction of my work has been influenced by environmental concerns such as pollution and over-consumption of

Read more ...

  • Location: London


My work spans the disciplines of sculpture, prop-making, installation and design for performance. I create recycled and mechanical sculptures, wearable art, and objects that interact with performers. My sculptures are usually figurative representations of people, animals or buildings. The direction of my work has been influenced by environmental concerns such as pollution and over-consumption of resources. The choice to work with reclaimed materials was initially an economic one, as well as an ethical decision to focus on the environmental impact of the materials and processes used. Equally important is the message these choices give to the viewer, drawing attention to environmental issues in an aesthetic, humorous and non-confrontational way. I also create kinetic sculptures with mechanical moving parts, which can be operated by the viewer. The thrill of working with found materials is the unexpected uses they can be put to. For instance, creating a wind turbine out of two old oil cans, or the internal workings of an old clock becoming a mechanism for a propeller. This methodology has followed through into my scenographic work. Sets, props and costumes have often necessarily been produced on an almost non-existent budget, and therefore have been gathered together from junkshops or from simple, cheap and freely available materials. This has led to my interest in the status and function of the object in performance, which formed the subject of my MA research. My work explores the possibility of interaction between performer and objects, which extends beyond the purely functional. I collaborate with performers to create object-based performance work, and create set and props for a variety of companies.

CV & Education

Qualifications and training 2003 - MA Scenography, Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design, London 2001 - Theatre Design Summer School, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London 2000 - City & Guilds 7307 Stage 1, Teaching Art and Design in Adult Education, Loughborough University, Loughborough 1997 - BA (Hons) Fine Art, De Montfort University, Leicester Solo exhibitions 2010 - Recycled Sculpture, Changing Room Gallery, Walthamstow, London 2006 - Experimental Anatomy, Robert Phillips Gallery, Riverhouse Barn, Walton-on-Thames 1999 - Creature Contraptions, 3 venues (Leicester Museum, Leicester Tourist Information, Loughborough Town Hall), Leicester and Loughborough Group exhibitions 2010 - Art & Seek, Clissold Park, Stoke Newington, London 2010 - Common Grounds, Hornbeam Centre, Walthamstow, London 2010 - Dalston Underground Studios: Ten Years, Boy's Hall, Dalston, London 2009 - Love London Recycled Sculpture Show, London Wetland Centre, Barnes 2008 - Choose to Re-use and Dare to Repair, The Environment Centre, High Wycombe 2008 - Open Studios, Blackhorse Lane Studios (BAGT), Walthamstow 2008 - Recycling and Waste Management exhibition, NEC, Birmingham 2007 - Collaborators Exhibition, Society of British Theatre Designers, Waverley Building, Nottingham Trent University 2001 - Ark, Hitchcock's Gallery, Bath 2001 - Mothers of Invention, Hitchcock's Gallery, Bath 2000 - Annual Open Exhibition, The City Gallery, Leicester 2000 - Horncastle Millenium Arts Show, Outdoor location, Horncastle, Lincolnshire Live/Performance 2007 - Propmaker for 'Spaces Between', South Bank Centre, Royal Festival Hall 2006 - Designer for 'Caliper Boy', dANTE OR dIE, Camden People's Theatre 2005 - Designer for 'Riot Pilot', The Greg McLaren Performance Organ, Hackney Empire and Hackney Town Hall Square 2005 - 'Experimental Anatomy', a collaboration with performance artist Tessa Wills, The Old Clock Shop and South Hill Park, Brighton and Bracknell 2005 - Mechanical wings used in interactive performance, Eudemonic event in shop space, Spitalfields Market, London 2004 - Design assistant for Shunt's 'Tropicana', Shunt vaults, London Bridge 2003 - Set/Costume/Lighting Design for 'Words Afoot', Foot in Hand Dance Company, Derby Dance Centre Artist talks 2009 - Inset sessions for primary school teachers, Education Business Partnership, Bexley, Bromley and Lewisham Workshops 2010 - Recycled sculpture project with young people from an Islington housing estate, Catch 22, Andover Community Centre 2009 - 'Insect Circus' recycled sculpture workshops, Special Olympics, Olympic Village, Leicester 2009 - Plastic bag art workshops for children in public spaces, Waltham Forest Council, Chingford and Walthamstow 2009 - Schools Day, a project with 12 schools to create a recycled Oak Tree, Haringey Green Fair, Ducketts Common 2009 - Workshops including mask-making and Tshirt customisation, Trap Media (agency), various schools across the UK 2008 - Cardboard City, for Artsdepot, East Barnet festival 2008 - Juice carton wallets and bags, Barnsbury Housing Association Green Fair, Islington 2008 - 'Mini-me' recycled sculptures, Havering Fair, Hornchurch 2008 - Recycled 'Swimmers' sculptures, Arts in The Park, Black Park, South Buckinghamshire 2008 - Shadow Sculptures for 'Shine' event, Interaction MK, Milton Keynes 2007 - Recycled Sculpture workshop, Peterborough City Council, Fletton Lake 2004 - 'Cardboard City' drop-in workshop, Oxfordshire Arts Week, Oxford 2003 - Designer/Facilitator for 'On Track' summer programme, Big Fish Theatre, Southwark 2003 - Recycled Insects, Oxfordshire Arts Week, The Ferry Centre, Oxford 2003 - Recycled wildlife workshop, 'Celebrate Ponders End' festival, Ponders End, London 2001 - Junk Sculpture workshops, Belgrave Mela and Riverside Festival, Leicester 2001 - Recycled sculpture workshop, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham 2000 - Recycled animal-making workshop, Leicester Comedy Festival, Leicester 1999 - Tin can sculpture workshop, The City Gallery, Leicester 1998 - Recycled Lantern workshop, The City Gallery, Leicester Residencies 2002 - Residency/commission to create functional artworks, Spaces for Sport and Art, Woodstock Primary School, Leicester 2000 - 'Art of Waste' residency, to create two kinetic public artworks, Year of the Artist, Leicester Private commissions 2009 - Recycled Loch Ness Monster sculpture, SGA Productions, Private venue in Scotland 2008 - Elk (made from aluminium cans), Rexam Beverage Can Europe, Luton 2006 - Mechanical bird in a cage, Garsington Opera, Garsington Manor, Oxford Public commissions 2010 - Recycled Agapanthus Sculpture, Royal Horticultural Society, touring 2009 - large recycled rabbit and chicken sculptures, apm shopping mall, Hong Kong 2009 - Recycled Daffodil Sculpture, Royal Horticultural Society, touring 2009 - Three recycled tennis player sculptures, Merton Borough Council, Wimbledon Park 2008 - The Mugridge Family, recycled portrait sculptures, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Touring 2008 - Woman and Boy, recycled sculptures, Merton Borough Council, Touring 2007 - Dog made from waste, Cambridgeshire County Council, The Grafton Centre 2007 - Man made from electrical waste, Peterborough City Council, Portable - tours to events 2006 - Seven Wasted Men, Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire - touring Corporate commissions 2011 - Large aeroplane sculpture made from Costa coffee cups, BAA, Heathrow Airport 2011 - Recycled Globe Sculpture, Overton Recycling, touring 2009 - Picnic from food waste, Ocado, photoshoot in London park 2008 - Exploded trainers, Adidas, Newburgh Street, London 2007 - Big Ben made of wheat, Shredded Wheat, Leicester Square, London 2007 - Shadow Sculptures, Reebok, Poble Espanol, Barcelona Projects 2009 - Recycled sculptures of penguins and camels, plus workshops, ZSL, London Zoo 2008 - 'Evolve', interactive installation, Watford Palace Theatre, Watford Educational experience - primary 2011 - Recycled 'Frankenstein' sculpture project, Edith Neville Primary School, Camden, London 2011 - Recycled garden sculptures, Hollymount School, Raynes Park, London 2011 - Sustainable Sculpture project, Creative Partnerships (A New Direction), Lathom Junior School 2010 - Garden design project, Creative Partnerships (A New Direction), John Bramston Primary School 2010 - Recycled Sculpture and shelter-building project, Creative Partnerships (A New Direction), Brindishe Primary School 2008 - Recycled Plastics project with Ecoactive, Orchard Primary School, Hackney 2008 - Recycled processional dragon, Honeywell Infants, Battersea Educational experience - secondary 2010 - Site-specific recycled sculpture project, Creative Partnerships (A New Direction), Highams Park school 2009 - Cardboard construction workshops, Creative Partnerships, Passmores School, Harlow 2009 - Recycled figure sculptures, 2-day project, Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge, Suffolk Educational experience - special needs 2011 - Week-long shadow puppet project, Whitefield Schools and Centre, Walthamstow, London 2010 - Recycled totem poles and garden sculpture, Whitefield Schools and Centre, school gardens 2008 - 3-day recycled sculpture project, Whitefields School and Centre, Walthamstow 2007 - Designer/facilitator, War Horse educational residency, Bamboozle Theatre Company/National Theatre, William Morris School, Walthamstow 1999 - Designer/facilitator - one week theatre-based residencies, Bamboozle Theatre Company, Leicester Haymarket/Derby Playhouse/Northampton Theatres