A new art exhibition exploring themes related to climate and environmental concerns will open at the Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown this weekend (Saturday 15 January).
The free-to-visit exhibit, titled Landmarks, was created by learners at the NPTC Group of Colleges in Newtown, in collaboration with the One Planet Generation Project, led by Open Newtown.
Students in the art and design department began the creative process by watching a variety of artists who explore climate issues in their work. The work ranged from street art to huge art installations created to inspire world leaders to be ambitious in their negotiations at Cop26, the UN Climate Change Summit, held in Glasgow last November.
This then sparked discussions about the role visual arts play in communicating messages about climate issues and raising public awareness. Students then created their own work, exploring climate and environmental themes and expressing them in a variety of mediums.
Minka Stear, one of the students, said: “This art project has helped me start new conversations about the climate crisis with my family, friends and classmates. I had previously tried to ignore the issues as they seemed too overwhelming, but this project gave me a safe space to discuss my feelings and work through some of them in my artwork.
The One Planet Generation Project, a new project funded by the Welsh Government and coordinated by Open Newtown, is led by Youth Engagement Manager, Kerala Irwin.
The two-year project has begun working with local young people to explore climate change issues, which includes setting up a new ‘Youth Assembly’ in the coming weeks. The Assembly will be a space where anyone between the ages of 13 and 25 can have their voice heard around planning for a sustainable future.
Nia Newson, Lecturer in Art at Newtown College, said: “Working with Kerala and the One Planet Generation project has provided our students with a platform to voice their concerns and ideas on the subject of climate change.
“Working with outside agents is an important aspect of all our courses to prepare our students for the world of work. Kerala has been excellent in giving students constructive feedback for their exhibition at Oriel Davies Gallery. We are all very excited to see our work together as a group.
This free exhibition will run from January 15 to 29 at the Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown.
Young people are encouraged to seek more information about the One Planet Generation project and ways to join through the webpage – https://opennewtown.org.uk/one-planet-generation/ and social media accounts. ‘Open Newtown.
The One Planet Generation project is part of a series of nature-based partnership projects, coordinated by Open Newtown and funded by the Welsh Government, focusing on the wellbeing and resilience of people and businesses in the city.
These new projects are supported by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Program 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government until June 2023.