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Disposable Cup

I have gathered and archived a collection of thousands of disposable cups. I am very uncomfortable with what they represent – a throwaway culture – I try and seriously limit my use of them, yet they represent a map of my travels – from daily work journeys to city trips and international travel.

Collecting cups from the audience to make money on the return price. Somersault Festival. Photograph: Chalky Whyte.

At the core of this project are issues of mobility, sustainability and, of course, the phenomenon of single-use plastic. People now send me cups.

The cups have been exhibited at Goldsmiths University, London, and Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana. I also made a presentation of them to a community at Vendsyssel Museum of Art, Denmark.

I am currently working on extending the project in the light of the new proliferation of single-use cups that are often made from sustainable materials and with ecological branding. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased their use.

It feels more pressing than ever to look at what these cups represent.