“I love creating things that connect with people, and passing on those skills, too. And it’s a lot of fun. When you’re in the zone, time flies – it’s a bit like being a musician, everything flows.”

One man’s waste is another man’s treasure – or in Michelle Reader’s case, another woman’s artistic supplies. The innovative, Nottingham-based sculptor quite literally moulds exhibits from garbage, creating beautiful pieces that also prompt debate about how and why we throw things away.

Starting small, with bits and bobs, Michelle’s work has grown in scope and scale over the years. “I did a campaign across eight UK shopping centres. I made a figure sculpture at each, using whatever materials I found on site.”

“The central message is to think about what we throw away differently. I want people to consider where it comes from, why it is considered waste, when it can be a resource. We need to get people thinking about the quantity of waste we produce, and how to cut down or reuse it.”

Photography by Francesca Jones