Artist Katharina Fitz explores the use of waste plastic in new artworks

Presenting ‘Ripple', the first public sculpture by artist Katharina Fitz, situated at Broadway.

Commissioned by Broadway's Near Now and supported by Future Makers.

‘Ripple' is fixed along a branch of the majestic silver birch tree on Broadway's outdoor terrace.

The sculpture represents the first public artwork outcome of a collaboration between Broadway’s Near Now and Future Makers, a creative studio in Nottingham specialising in plastic recycling. ‘Ripple' is made using equipment at Future Makers’ Waste Plastic Studio, with repurposed waste plastic sourced from Broadway.

An introduction to the project by Katharina Fitz:

While departing from my usual approach of non-representational form, ‘Ripple' is inspired by the intricate beauty of a wild bee’s nest. Crafted from a unique hybrid material comprising plastic and agricultural waste, I tried to push and stress its properties until reaching an imperfect and organic aesthetic. ‘Ripple' demonstrates how sculpture can engage in a dialogue about process and sustainability, showcasing the transformative potential of repurposed materials.

‘Ripple', 2024, Katharina Fitz. 60x60x45cm. Waste plastic, agricultural waste, bolts, screws, mending plates, inner tubes.

‘Ripple', 2024, Katharina Fitz. 60x60x45cm. Waste plastic, agricultural waste, bolts, screws, mending plates, inner tubes.

After receiving the Near Now Fellowship in 2023 I began my journey working with waste plastic at Future Maker's newly established Waste Plastic Studio in Nottingham. The Fellowship granted me funded access to the Waste Plastic Studio, providing a platform to learn about working and understanding the use of waste plastic.

In early 2024 I was invited to design a waste plastic collection point for Broadway Cinema in Nottingham for which I additionally created a sculptural intervention for their outdoor space.

Research and Development of ‘Ripple' at Future Makers, Nottingham. Credit: Future Makers.

Research and Development of ‘Ripple' at Future Makers, Nottingham. Credit: Future Makers.

About Katharina Fitz

Katharina Fitz mainly works in the field of sculpture and installation, often in reference to industrial processes and architecture.

The physical interaction between artist and sculptural form is notably present in her practice. Turning, pushing, pulling, ramming, peeling and dragging form part of her visual vocabulary, revealing the force and expressive qualities of materials.

She questions the hierarchy and value of objects in a mass-produced, slick, and highly mechanised world, embracing imperfection, the residual and its dusty tones. Jigs and props of making are usually seen as by-products and discarded, whereas Fitz presents them as objects in their own right, drawing the viewer into an exploration of the work. Her sculptures mediate between studio and gallery atmosphere, sharing glimpses of the behind the scenes of construction.

Her work explores the vision and understanding of the world that surrounds us, offering a new reading of how it could be animated, changed, or extended into something else.

Her photographic work looks at issues surrounding the changes, phenomena, and structures that we find within the city and how they affect our coexistence within urban space.

About Future Makers' Waste Plastic Studio

Future Makers’ mission is to transform waste plastic into art, innovation and opportunity. The Waste Plastic Studio will redefine how we perceive and use recycled plastic as a valuable resource for creativity and sustainability. This initiative brings together artists, designers, makers, businesses, schools and residents to explore the potential of recycled plastic through educational workshops, immersive programmes and community engagement.

This project is supported by Broadway's Near Now Fellowship using public funding by Arts Council England. It is co-produced by Future Makers, Nottingham’s new hub for entrepreneurial artists, designers and makers, as part of our ongoing collaborative project, Repurposing Waste Plastic.