One Man’s Trash Is Another Woman’s Canvas


We know of some museums that turn traveller-trash into beautiful pieces of art. The idea behind this act is simple – to voice the adverse effects of visitor-waste and to encourage picking up what we no longer need.

But imitating landscapes on what the rest of us might believe to be useless is what ecological artist Mariah Reading has found her calling towards. Blurring the line “between landscape and landfill”, Mariah’s art is surprisingly spectacular when you consider the unconventional surfaces. 

The concept

Are we and our trash so separate from nature?

By painting landscapes on the “waste” that others discard, Reading seems to raise this very question in addition to her art voicing the destruction of our environment. 

What does Reading do, and exactly how does she do it?

The process, like the concept, is not complicated at all. Loving travelling as she does, Reading travels across the world – to beaches, mountains, national parks – and more often than not, finds trash that visitors before her leave behind. Unlike most of us who would turn a blind eye, our artist picks up these pieces of trash and paints the exact landscape in her view. What results is a scintillating, awe-inspiring piece of art, every single time. 

What was Reading’s inspiration?

Genetically and academically an artist, Reading didn’t think of “trash” as her canvas till the final year of art school. Realising that art classes were generating a huge amount of waste, thanks to the need of properly proportioned material, a switch clicked in her mind. Discarded waste would be the canvas she’d be using for life, she decided. 

Why landscape?

The answer to this question lies with the place Reading grew up in. The beauty of Maine, New England, had imprinted upon her the love for landscapes, a painting type she naturally gravitated towards during college. Next you know, her art on waste had become a lasting legacy. 

Once you stumble across Mariah’s art, riveting towards it time and again is only natural. 

Does true beauty lie in breaking convention?

If you liked this article, you will fall in love with Meet The Artist Who Turns Random Object Into Spaceships


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