Dunhurst artists through to wildlife charity final

Posted on 12th February 2018

Dunhurst pupils are celebrating after finding out that they have reached the final of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Global Canvas Art Competition. The wildlife conservation charity, which funds key conservation projects across Africa and Asia, host the annual competition as part of the ‘Art for Survival’ programme to encourage young people to express their concern for the environment through art.

This year, more than 4,500 children from art groups and schools from 15 countries entered the competition and Dunhurst is one of the lucky handful to be shortlisted.

The competition has a different theme each year, with this year’s entitled 'Into the Wild'.  Under the guidance of Susan McFarlane, Head of Art, Group 3 pupils undertook to create a project that expressed their concern for the decline of the Great Barrier Reef using a range of mixed media.

Susan said: “The children’s Great Barrier Reef project spanned several departments within the school, with art, textiles and humanities taking part. It is such an exciting staring point to explore our rich and diverse sea life and the environmental issues affecting our oceans today. Through Art and Textiles we explored form, shape, colour, texture and pattern found in the wide range of corals, fish and living organisms”.

After watching the recent BBC Blue Planet series and learning more about Australia in lessons, pupils were inspired to begin experimenting with layering colours, pattern and texture. In Textiles classes, they designed brightly coloured fish, jelly fish, anemone and starfish and also created pom poms and other knitted fabrics to create the look of coral on the seabed.

Susan continued: “We assembled the whole to look like a miniature Coral Reef and the pupils hosted an assembly to tell the school what they had learned in the course of the project. Needless to say, we are excited to have made the shortlist and now await the outcome”.

Group 3 will attend the Global Canvas Art Competition awards ceremony on 15 March at the Natural History Museum, where the winners will be announced and they will get to see their final submission exhibited amongst the other shortlisted entries.