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Art shines from e-scrap partnership

Surridge at her Scottish sculpture workshop.

UK sculptor Katie Surridge has won £15 000 (EUR 17 500) to design creative sculptures using metals recovered from discarded electronic devices.

Surridge’s proposal addresses the problem of e-waste. 57.4 million tonnes of e-waste was generated in 2021 and the total is growing by around two million tonnes a year.

‘I have an aversion to modern technology and my work is often inspired by folklore, stories and skills from the past,’ says Surridge. ‘My last major body of work involved making my own iron from ore. This project will transport me from the Iron Age back to the present, where I will be looking at extracting metal from e-waste using microbes.’

An earlier creation was these bronze ‘relics’ made from packaging.

The winner of the fourth DARE Art Prize benefits from a partnership between the University of Leeds and Opera North and an association with the National Science and Media Museum and an arts centre in Leeds. DARE challenges artists and scientists to collaborate on new approaches to the creative process.

Surridge will collaborate with scientists from the School of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Leeds, world-leaders in developing more sustainable processes for chemical production, and the Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials. They will extract gold, silver, copper, platinum, aluminium and cobalt present in e-scrap.

‘I’m sure that having the support, facilities and connections that the prize offers will allow me to develop some of my most exciting work to date.’

Photos: © Katie Surridge

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