UP! Showcases artistic approaches to upcycling, through high quality arts commissions and embeds artist led  upcycling skills within Lancashire communities.

In 2013, UP! commissioned 5 designer makers and artists to develop a range of beautiful, creative and exciting new products from a wide range of unwanted materials. The commissions feature a range of creative responses to the theme of upcycling using unwanted or found materials that came from local charity shops, scrap stores, recycling network or were waste materials from a manufacturing process.

A key element of this research and development phase of the UP! project is exploring how production of craft based upcycled products can develop into a new Social Enterprise business model (UP!Collective); working with artist and designer makers to support people from socially excluded backgrounds. Therefore the products that UP! commissioned were designed to be replicated by people with basic levels of making skills using an instruction pack developed by the artists. Working with partners such as Emmaus and Friends of Fishwick and St Matthew’s, we will deliver a range of workshops with groups to develop their creative making skills and reproduce the commissioned products in small batches, to eventually sell the range through online and physical craft retail outlets. Money generated from these sales will be used to support the ongoing development of this social enterprise model and feedback into the enabled community groups.

UP! has also delivered artist development Craft Hack sessions working with found and unwanted materials in collaboration with Emmaus, and a number of creative community workshop events in partnership with The Harris Museum & Art Gallery and Vintage By the Sea in Morecambe.

Pop up shop exhibitions showcasing the commissioned work will take place in early 2014 alongside the production of the Arts Council R&D project report, with further funding bids submitted to develop the projects phase 2 of delivery from summer 2014.

Read more about Up and Preston Guild 2012