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Making animal sculptures from rubbish

Posted onPosted on 4th May

There is the chance to discover the creative potential of rubbish at a new exhibition by Michelle Reader at The Harley Gallery, Welbeck.

Michelle Reader: Recycled Sculpture will be on show at until 24th July.

The free entry exhibition shows large scale wildlife sculptures, all made from an extraordinary array of domestic waste.

In the hands of sculptor Michelle, a broken fan might become part of a mountain goat, or a paint brush the beard of a bearded vulture.

Her sculptures highlight the links between the things we consume and the destruction of wildlife habitats, while at the same time portraying the beauty and wonder of the natural world.

Visitors to the exhibition can see three of her works with films showing how they were made.

Michelle is running a workshop on Friday, 3rd June at 2pm where she will guide families through the process of making their own recycled animal sculpture. It is recommended for children aged 5-11 (for younger artists, there is a craft workshop for the under 5s earlier in the day.) Tickets cost £6 per child and accompanying adults go free. Booking is essential, visit for full details.

Michelle is based in The Harley Gallery Studios and has been working with recycled materials since 1997.

Outside in the courtyard there is also the chance to see Michelle’s new commission for the Harley Art Trail, which leads to the nearby prehistoric site Creswell Crags. Michelle has made a pair of horses, one modern and one ancient, which she has crafted from reclaimed metal sourced on the Welbeck estate.

This exhibition is part of The Harley Gallery’s ‘Visions of Welbeck’ season, a series of exhibitions that each explore different visions of the historic Welbeck estate.

Visitors can also enjoy an exhibition about the life of the 5th Duke of Portland, interior décor by Kyra Cane, who is also based in The Harley Studios, and miniatures by contemporary artist Sofia Mitsola shown alongside historical paintings from The Portland Collection.