Why there is a heap of rubbish on Tunbridge Wells Common

Pam Mills

It’s abstract, created by a team of artists and made entirely of rubbish.

Passers-by might mistake it for fly-tipping, but a collection of waste on Tunbridge Wells Common is actually a thought provoking artwork.

Motorists have been noticing the piece, entitled Disrespect, which stands alongside Tunbridge Wells Forum on a verge next to London Road.

The bottles, newspapers and old clothing on show is not remnant of a camp out or a party on the Common.

Instead, Disrespect has been put together by local artists compiled from litter collected in just 90 minutes in the green space. �

A caption reads: ‘Its purpose is to draw attention to the throwaway society we live in and it shows the amount, and range, of objects we found dumped.’

It also ties into T.Wells Art Trail, which will see 36 artists present their works in ten locations around town in a new event from June 2 to June 10.

Artist Lucy Ames said the festival would otherwise involve painting, ceramics, jewellery and pottery, with the rubbish being a one-off.

‘A small subset of artists met at the weekend and put it together. It could be that it develops further.

‘It was to make a point, but also to develop interest in the trail.’

The family friendly trail is free to attend and all works are on sale, with the exception of the rubbish.

Some of the venues hosting a section of the trail are Vittle & Swig, Spa Valley Railway, Woods Restaurant and Tunbridge Wells Adult Education Centre.

Ms Ames is one of main organisers of the event.

‘It is about celebrating creative talent in this town,’ she added. ‘It was organised as Open Studios is not running this year, so we came together to organise our own trail.

‘We want people in Tunbridge Wells to be more aware of art.

‘It will be a different atmosphere as instead of seeing an artist in their own studio, which can be quite intimidating, you can see four or five in one place.

‘We have been working on this for a few months and it is a real team effort.’

Ms Ames said she hopes as many people as possible come to the trail.

As an added incentive, visitors who attend all ten venues can enter into a draw to receive an art hamper.

To find out more information, visit artworkstrail.wixsite.com/artworks

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