Our Community Engagement programme has an ongoing collaboration with Wandsworth Council's Arts Service on a series of projects with primary schools across the borough that have all aimed to inspire climate change awareness through the use of art and design.
At a glance
- Creative workshops designed and delivered by RCA graduates in partnership with Wandsworth Council for young people aged 8–11 across the borough.
- The workshops used different creative practices including photography, sculpture, print and design to explore the climate crisis.
- The artwork created has been showcased in digital and physical exhibitions, including on banners which are returned to the schools giving the projects ongoing legacy and impact.
Overarching aim of the projects
Each project has aimed to inspire climate change awareness in young people through engagement with different creative practices, whether that be photography, sculpture, print or design. The projects have also been a wonderful opportunity to give RCA recent graduates paid experience working in education settings and supported Wandsworth Council's engagement work with the community to identify how we combat climate change.
A Greener Picture
In May 2021, 15 primary schools across Wandsworth participated in A Greener Picture: Photography and Climate Change. Workshops were delivered by four recent Photography graduates: Eleonora Agostini, Sara Marinangeli, Alexander Mourant and Matthew Rhys Thompson. They were guided by Tom Lovelace, artist and Tutor at RCA, teaching on MA Photography and PGCert in Art and Design Education. The sessions examined and explored our relationship to the natural world and how photography can help us change the way we see things and communicate issues. 670 pupils aged between 8–11 worked individually and collectively to create sculptures and cyanotypes which they then photographed. The results were shared online and on banners exhibited outside Wandsworth Town Hall during Wandsworth Arts Fringe.
Plant Power was led by Ellie Wyatt (MA Print, 2019), supported by Xintong Zhang (MA Print, 2021). The project used plant life to explore important questions about humanity’s responsibility for the environmental crisis, as well as exploring our own unique and personal relationships with nature and the natural world. Ellie and Xintong worked with 9 classes from 7 primary schools across Wandsworth to encourage them to think about how trees and plants grow and connect as well as speculating on how plant-life - ever resilient - might adapt for our changing world. The artworks created by the 202 young people involved went on display outside Wandsworth Town Hall and at Wandsworth's Civic Suite for the Wandsworth Arts Fringe Schools Showcase 2022.
Single Use Planet
Blake C. Joshua (Design Products, 2021) is leading this collaborative arts project with primary schools from across the borough. The project aims to raise awareness about the impact of single use plastics on the marine ecosystem. Blake has led CPD sessions for teachers to empower them to lead sessions as well as delivering workshops himself. The project is being managed by Wandsworth Council’s Arts Service in partnership with Children’s Services, alongside representatives from the participating schools and the RCA. Each school is creating artwork to contribute to a collective exhibition at Southside Shopping Centre in April 2023.
“For me, the workshop experience has also opened a new door to teaching and working with children. I am glad and honoured to have been part of such a unique and formative experience.”
“This experience reminded me that collaboration is very important and I am curious to try and work with processes that are not very familiar to me”