08 April 2021
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Just Imagine: Creatives reveal their winning pictures of the future
WWF reveals winners of ‘Just Imagine’ environmental art competition and announces new virtual exhibition in April
WWF has today revealed the 12 winners of its first national art competition, along with the opening date of an exciting virtual exhibition where the selected artworks will be displayed. The initiative, titled ‘Just Imagine’, hopes to spark conversations about the solutions to the climate and nature crisis and drive positive change through art.
In the competition’s brief, WWF called on creatives to reimagine a greener, thriving future where nature is at the heart of our decisions, and encouraged a diverse range of artists, mediums and voices to take part. Judges included award-winning graphic designer Greg Bunbury; painter, poet, environmentalist and Honorary President of the Black Environment Network (BEN) Judy Ling Wong; and award-winning furniture designer Stacie Woolsey.
Over 600 submissions were reviewed by the judges before whittling them down to a shortlist of 50 works. The final 12 winners were selected for their vision and creative use of medium, from watercolour and embroidery, to digitally created artworks. The winning artists come from regions across the UK, including Cumbria, Devon and London. While their artworks vary greatly in style and design, the message of hope, community and appreciation of our planet runs throughout.
Self-taught artist Bethan Yip, whose work was titled ‘A Brighter Future’, responded to the brief with the idea that “change is a slow and intricate process”. For her winning entry, Bethan worked in digital format to imagine a future not dissimilar to ours – but “brighter overall”.
‘Just Imagine’ asked creatives to do exactly that – to reimagine what a sustainable future could look like through art. Entrants were encouraged to take inspiration from Sir David Attenborough’s recent film, A Life On Our Planet, in which he reflects on the changes to the natural world during his lifetime and presents his hopeful vision for the future. The nationwide call-out saw creative responses to the solutions and messages seen in the film.
Kate Norgrove, Executive Director of Advocacy & Campaigns at WWF-UK, said: “In such an important year for environmental action, it’s exciting to see such a diverse response from these artists, with an emphasis on hope. If we act now, by 2030 nature and wildlife could be recovering all around us, which means new green jobs, cleaner air and a healthier future for the next generation. The creativity and imagination from these winning artists reminds us that tackling the climate and nature crisis needs the combined efforts of all of us – from artists and creative communities to scientists and governments.”
The virtual exhibition, curated by Andrea van den Hoek Mejias and hosted by V21 Artspace, launches at 6pm on 29th April 2021 and will bring together creatives, community members, and leaders from across the UK.
Register to the launch event and find out more via the WWF-UK website: https://www.wwf.org.uk/just-imagine
The 12 winners of the Just Imagine competition are:
- Alfie Bryan - Derby
- Amber Young – Scottish Borders
- Amy Zara Preston - Hull
- Andrew Bristow – Merseyside
- Bethan Yip – Greater London
- Donna McLuskie - Cambridge
- Ismay Alice Wells - Cambridge
- Jack Cowley – Oxford
- Leo Michael Crane - London
- Mabel Cheung Harris – Devon
- Natalie Ellis - Wiltshire
- Sophie Sidhu - Derby
The Just Imagine judging panel included:
- Award-winning graphic designer Greg Bunbury. Greg has twice served as the design Week Awards in the UK and is the curator of this year’s #BlackOutdoorArtProject with Brotherhood Media.
- Judy Ling Wong, painter, poet, and environmentalist also joins the panel and is best known as the Honorary President of Black Environment Network (BEN).
- Award-winning Anthropological Future Designer, Stacie Woolsey. Stacie is founder of ‘Make Your Own Masters’ – an alternative post-graduate learning programme, that addresses the lack of access and diversity within both the creative industry and education.