Charlie Pearson addresses humans' problematic relationship with rubbish in his exhibition at Snails in Palmerston North next Saturday, June 13.

"The idea for my exhibition came about because I realised that everyone creates a lot of rubbish that they're blind to," said Pearson.

"We walk into a supermarket and hardly see any food.

"The food we buy is all hidden under plastic packaging and what we see is only pictures of food.


"When we toss rubbish in the bin we don't think about it again, about where it will go or its impact on the environment.

"And most of these things are only used once before being disposed of."

Through art and poetry Pearson wanted to highlight the issues of our consumerist society, and his own struggles with rubbish.

He decided collage was the perfect medium because it allowed him to reuse materials that would otherwise be thrown away – cardboard boxes, bags, newspapers, packaging, posters and magazines..

He says it was a chance to give these objects a second life.

A year ago Pearson decided to stop buying things that weren't recyclable.

He says plastics number four to eight are hard to recycle and his art idea took on new life.

"So many things are made of these non-recyclable materials, I couldn't bring myself to fully cut them from my life.


"It can be hard to find sustainable alternatives, so I started holding on to everything.

"From that viewpoint I decided my art would not be made from anything new.

"I would reuse existing materials that were otherwise going to be tossed out.

"Essentially, the only new things I bought were double-sided tape and glue."

Pearson is a writer and alongside the collages he's written poems.

Some are related to the artworks, others separate as artworks themselves and many of the collages contain text too.

"Working at a magazine taught me how visual words can be; the way they're laid on a page has a highly designed element to it, and different fonts are used to make the magazine look exciting – visual stimulation doesn't just come from the pictures."

Pearson says he got into collaging as an adult because he realised the limitations of the written word.

"Sometimes I'm writing and I get frustrated because I know exactly what I want to say but there are no words to explain what I mean, words only give an approximation.

"That's where collaging comes in.

"Equally, there are lots of things you can't explain visually, so I have writing."

"Everybody likes rubbish" opens June 13 at Snails: Artist run spaces, and will be on view for a month.

Exhibition launch – June 13. Door opens at 6.30pm, poetry reading at 7pm, 103 Taonui St, Palmerston North.