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Global Canvas 2021 winners

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Global Canvas is our annual children’s art competition and we were delighted to announce the Global Canvas 2021 winners last week. Generously sponsored by Michael O’Mara Books, we received entries from across the globe with 2,219 children participating from 26 countries. Global Canvas is open to groups of children aged 16 and under including friends, art clubs and schools (a class, year group or entire school). Where a group entry was not possible due to COVID-19, individual entries were also accepted.

This year’s theme “Healing Nature – A Planet On the Edge” encouraged children to consider our planet’s environment and the wildlife that inhabits it. We were blown away by the quality of entries, the theme interpretation and the level of creativity. From paintings, sculptures and crafts to recycled art and mini-exhibitions.

Global Canvas 2021 virtual awards ceremony

The Global Canvas 2021 winners were announced in a virtual awards ceremony that took place on Thursday 25th March 2021. We were joined by the hugely successful DSWF Art Patron Emily Lamb, the brilliant “Artivist” DSWF Partner Wildlife Artist Martin Aveling and Painteddog.tv took us on an incredible virtual safari in Africa. The main event was of course announcing this year’s Global Canvas 2021 prize winners!

Group winners

Joint First Prize: Conisborough College Resource Base (UK)

Project description: The Students mind mapped the idea of healing nature and agreed on the common thread as “environment”. As young people are increasingly aware of climate issues and pollution, from listening to Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough, the students were able to articulate their understanding and make priorities in their planning. Each student worked on an individual design. We then put them together and discussed what worked well.

We discussed using ideas from each students design in a final piece. It was important to the students to construct the piece, as much as possible from recycled materials, including wood for the frame. The students were able to work individually and as part of a team, choosing to concentrate on their strengths and interests also supporting each other. The idea that industry creates pollution into the environment. By using alternative energy, the process can be reversed. Unnecessary waste, especially plastic needs to be reduced in the environment to save the lives of vulnerable animals.

Flowers have been made out of plastic bags, plastic bags that are not plastic become a centre piece for action “I care about the world”. The king of the jungle replaces the sun with messages reaching out from the sunbeams. A rainbow with messages the students felt were poignant sings across the sky and hedgehogs made from books guard the world.
We hope you enjoy our entry as much as we did making it!

The judges really liked the way that the students had used recycled materials as far as possible to create their entry, even creating flowers out of plastic bags and hedgehogs from books. They represented industry and the pollution that it creates and showed that by using alternative energy sources everyone can help to reduce this and start to heal nature. The judges also liked the messaging that they included in their entry.

Joint First Prize: Small Hands for the Earth (Hungary)

Project description: In 2021 students between 8 and 13 years from the art school of “Debreceni Kazinczy Ferenc Általános Iskola és AMI” have enthusiastically participated in the making of their own Global Canvas. Our project was built up from different kinds of household trash and unused objects with the help of some creative minds and several art techniques (painting, drawing, linocut, clay, papier-mache, enamel painting).

The aim of this artwork was to show the world our little country through an ancient Hungarian legend about the Miraculous Hind who led our ancestors into the Pannonian Basin more than a thousand years ago. Because of the respect toward our history we take responsibility for protecting our little land from the bottom of the deepest lakes and rivers to the snowy top of the mountains. The Miraculous Hind represents a tree which can be a link between the ground and the air while the large figures are us, who have the opportunity to think about our future and make some difference in our way of living. We believe that every change begins in little steps by the smallest hands.

The judges said there was just so much to look at in this entry and a lot of effort and work had gone into it, including many different techniques such as enamel painting, lino cuttings and papier-mache as well as many recycled materials. They liked the link that the children had made between the ancient Hungarian legend of the Miraculous Hind and the steps that the children are taking to protect and heal the planet today.

Second Prize: The Healing Tree (UK)

Project description: Our focus for the theme was on simple actions that almost everyone can take to help care for and heal the planet – Lois and Amy provided some great examples. The central idea behind our display is that small seeds (which represent ideas) can grow into big trees (which represent changes). We chose to keep the materials basic and in their natural state and only used old broken things and old packaging that we already had – with the exception of a little Fima, Gaffa Tape and quite a lot of glue!

By doing this, we had to think creatively and resourcefully to bring our ideas to life. A little thought and consideration led to effective solutions, even though our options were limited. Keeping it simple and consistent created something new and worthwhile and we hope that eventually the idea seeds will take root in new places.

The judges loved this entry because of the attention to detail in it, every part of it has been handmade from recycled materials. They really liked that the seeds hanging from the tree were filled with rolled-up messages with suggestions of things everyone can all do to help to heal the earth. They also loved the creatures that had been included in this entry too. The whole project is original and really well thought out.

Third Prize: Suha Suha Art School (USA)

Project description: Whether we choose to forget or neglect the issue, the rising concerns that include global warming, natural disasters, deforestation, pollution, and more continue to rip apart our planet by the minute. Scientists and environmentalists describe the enormous transitions we must make to potentially slow a fraction of the implausible damage we have inflicted on a planet that births beauty.

Through this piece, we position the messy and desperate string that is meticulously stitched through rupturing earth from various operating hands to signify the immediate, rugged action we must take to save this crumbling planet; each fixed frame is supported by spools of thread as well as a single wooden pole and boxed into the confines of a black square to signify the hopelessness and constraint that we have pressured on Earth. Overall, we attempt to convey that it is within our hands to bring life back to this planet that shelters us and finally let it breathe from the stress we inflict on it by the day.

The judges loved this entry because it was so original. They liked the way that the Earth is being shown as being stitched back together through actions that we all need to take to reduce the pressure that is being put on it.

Individual winners

Winner age 4-7 category: Vibhavari (Canada)

The judges loved the way the Earth was represented as an umbrella to protect us all. They liked how Vibhavari had depicted ways to help heal the Earth such as using alternative energy sources like solar power, protecting wildlife, reducing litter and using rain storage systems for watering crops. Overall the entry was really thoughtful and very well drawn.

Winner age 8-11 category: Aron (India)

Project description: Nature always has its own healing power. Nature is always good to all creatures, but human beings had spoiled by depleting natural resources by dumping wastes on water bodies, polluting air, water etc. Now nature started to show its angry face towards human beings but still friendly faces towards birds, animals and all other living creatures.

Now human beings have started realising it and we can see tremendous improvement in life relationship, food habits and environmental impact, by saving fuels, water, air, natural resources, planting trees, the importance of hygiene, feeding birds and animals etc.

The judges loved the clever way Aron had represented nature in this picture and had really thought about the different ways that people are now starting to help to heal it, including ideas like using bikes more, looking after wildlife, picking up litter and storing rainwater. They thought it was beautifully drawn and loved the colour choices Aron had made, it is really eye-catching, and there is so much to look at in it.

Winner age 12-16 category: Payton (USA)

Project description: For my project I decided to follow this year’s theme by making it in a forest. The way I interpreted the theme is that we as humans should do more to help our Earth. Our planet is on the edge and if we continue to carelessly pollute our world, it will die soon. That’s why I decided to create trash falling on our environment and animals. In my project I added a lot of trees, rocks, fallen leaves and branches, and a river.

The animals I made include foxes, a bear, a squirrel, porcupines, a family of rabbits, and a flock of birds. The animals are also there to represent the precious life on Earth and how they are suffering from human pollution. The human-Earth is there to represent how the pollution and trash is affecting it too. Earth itself is trying to adjust to things and it can’t decompose garbage at the pace humans are creating trash.

I also decided to make the human head an Earth because of the “Planet on the Edge” part. It symbolizes two things; how we are all connected and how we should embrace and protect Earth. Another important theme in this project was recycling. My project is almost completely all made of recyclable materials. This was because I wanted to help our Earth as much as possible. Materials I used include paper, cardboard, glue, paint, string, cloth, and bits of trash.

The judges liked the clever way that Payton represented how people are pushing the planet to the edge, there was so much work and detail in the entry, for example the origami birds and other animals. There is a human representation of Earth who is trying to decompose the rubbish that is being created by humans but they can’t keep up with the speed that it is all happening. The judges loved the original design of Payton’s entry, the use of recycled materials and the amount of detail in it. There is also a strong message about how closely we are connected to the Earth and how it should be protected.

David Shepherd Award

David Shepherd Award Winner: Caleb British International School

Project description: The fact is that our planet is becoming warmer every day, which is known as global warming. Global warming is one of the greatest problems in the world today. Humans are increasingly influencing the climate and the earth’s temperature by burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests and farming livestock.

For this reason, The STEAM students of Caleb British International School, Lagos Nigeria have created 3D recycled project to drive Tree planting initiatives and advocacy titled: Restoring our Forests (Afforestation and Reforestation). Without the plants, the climate may become dryer and growing food could become impossible for many. Rainforests play a practical role in keeping our planet healthy by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing the oxygen that we depend on for our survival. The absorption of this CO2 also helps to stabilize the Earth’s climate.

The project was executed with about 90% recycling materials. Recycling is an absolute necessity for dealing with waste and another response to reducing global warming. The goal of this project is to champion the culture of planting trees in order to: Restore our forests. About half the land in Nigeria used to be covered in trees. Today, Nigeria has lost 96 percent of its forest due to deforestation. Preserve biodiversity Prevent climate change and Reduce global warming.

The judges felt David Shepherd would have loved this entry, the students had used a large number of recycled materials to create their project which was about the replanting of trees in Nigeria to help to restore the forests there, and therefore heal the Earth. The judges felt that the quality of the artwork was really strong and loved the wonderful trees and animals that they had created.

Michael O’Mara Books Personal Choice Award

MOM Books Winner: St Vincent’s Primary Specialist School for Sensory Impairment (UK)

Project description: At St Vincent’s School the environment, ecology and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play a significant role in the school curriculum – particularly SDG 3, 13, 15 & 17. Our tactile display interprets the theme of ‘Healing Nature’ through our collaborative and community-based ‘One Tree per Child’, ‘Reclaim the Green, Reclaim the Nature’, ‘Natures Child’ and ‘Grow Wild’ projects.

The judges were very impressed by this tactile display and also that these pupils are going far beyond making artwork. They put their ideas into practice through projects like growing and gifting free trees to the local community and rewilding locations. It is really wonderful to see a school so engaged in Healing Nature.

We are delighted to have the generous support of Michael O’Mara Books for Global Canvas. If you’ve not checked their green range out already, do have a look. Their Favourite Books to Save The Planet include The Big Green Activity Book, fact-filled with eco puzzles, Guardians of The Planet; how to be an eco-hero and You Can Save The Planet; 101 ways you can make a difference.

Thank you

Thank you to DSWF Art Patron Emily Lamb, DSWF Partner Wildlife Artist, “artivist” Martin Aveling, Painteddog.tv for taking us on a brilliant virtual safari and to our wonderful Global Canvas sponsors, Michael O’Mara Books. Most importantly, thank you to those of you that participated, we hope to see you in our next Global Canvas competition which launches in June 2021.

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