The project and the exhibition are dedicated to two groups of people: first, all the anonymous dustbin designers, not to say artists for some of them, behind the bins; second, to the waste collectors, official and unofficial, many of whom I saw during my trip.
Both groups are usually invisible and receive little recognition for their work; as for the waste collectors, they do a difficult, much maligned, sometimes dangerous, often unpleasant, but ever more important job in collecting and sorting our rubbish. Waste, how we generate it, and how we deal with it has become a major preoccupation in terms of the future of the planet. Both could be the subject of further projects.
Gallery partner: Dorothée Bonneault at Photo Up gallery, in Paris. Dorothée used to work in sustainable development in a large company, then gave it all up to set up a gallery cum teaching space for budding photographers. I am grateful for her for hosting my first exhibition, which opened on my 39th birthday; a very special memory!
Produrable Salon partner: Cécile Colonna d’Istria, in charge of the annual Produrable salon (www.produrable.com). Her enthusiasm was a strong spur to get my expo off the ground and show my photographs in a different context at this well-established annual French Salon for sustainable development & CSR professionals. I was categorised as an artist in the brochure, a first for me!
Canibal, a young French start-up, recycles plastic cups and cans in companies with its pioneering ‘canibal’ machine; employees put their cup or can in the machine which grinds it down into recyclable material. They provided me with coloured panels to support my stand for the exhibition at the Produrable Salon, made of recycled plastic cups (www.canibal.fr).
Assistance with partnerships: André Brouchet of Eco Business Angels: a big thank you to André for thinking up the name of the project and for obtaining many valuable contacts for me. To Liem Nguyen, who has helped me with gallery contacts and for generally being full of sound, wise, business-like advice. Un gros merci à vous deux!
Web designers: Susie Kahlich in Paris, David Hanna in Washington, Thomas Archambaud in Paris
Document and text editors: Véronique Gilquin, Edouard Laniesse, Céline Pognon, Anaïs Ringenbach, Liem Nguyen,Veronica Stebbing
Printers & retouchers: Négatif+, Madeleine Photo, Jim Kezman, former President of Paris Photo Meet Up
To many of my friends and family for their ideas and advice, patience, understanding and unfailing support for what could/does seem like a crazy venture; to Laurence Wagner for hosting the expo in her beautiful flat in Paris, and for getting it shown at the DILA, the French state printer’s offices, in Paris and Metz.
To those sending in their dustbin photos to help start up the Forum page (Rana, Céline, Liv, Karin, Gergo, Laurence, James, Andy…)
Photo Meet Up Paris members and their critical, helpful and useful feedback (Olivier, Boris)
To Entreprendre Vert, who interviewed me about the project, and posted the interview on their website: http://entreprendrevert.org/2014/11/28/phoebe-blackburn/
Last but not least, this project is dedicated to the memory of my spiritual and artistic grandparents, Geri Knight and Mark Churchill, both artists themselves, who lived for their work. I believe they would be happy to have seen this project come to life were they still alive today.