Aluminium foil scrap becomes art in Bonn

These tons of aluminium process scrap from Hydro's plant in Grevenbroich, Germany, should have been destined to become new foil for yoghurt pot lids, blister packaging for tablets or chocolate wrapping. Instead, they're art.

March 28, 2011
Heinz Mack, one of Germany's most important artists since the 1960s, celebrated his 80th birthday by holding several exhibitions, in particular a large display of his works in the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn.

Wall of light

He wanted to realize once more a project from 1976 – a wall of light resembling a mirror tunnel. He chose aluminium as his preferred material, in the form of clean, pressed, stackable scrap.

"We were pleased to help," says Oliver Bell, head of Hydro's Rolled Products business area.

Consequently, a truck-load of baled scrap on pallets was transformed by hand into an aluminium wall, eight meters long and nearly three meters high.

Aluminium art that can be recycled

When Mack's "Light – Space – Colour" exhibition ends in July, the baled aluminium scrap from Grevenbroich will have served its artistic purpose. But the story doesn't end there.

The bales will be removed, melted down and used in their next life cycle to ensure that foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals are conserved for extended periods.

"Our metal offers too many useful advantages and is simply too valuable to have only one life in one application," says Bell.

"We recycle it time and time again to maximize its positive effect for our customers, for users – and for the environment."


Updated: October 11, 2016