Global Canvas 2019 explores habitats of the world

Global Canvas, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s annual art competition for groups of children aged 16 and under, received a record-breaking 129 entries this year, celebrating 15 years of engaging students in wildlife conservation and art.

For 2019, the theme was ‘Habitats of the World’, which invited schools from around the world to build creative, artistic depictions of habitats that can be found all over our planet.

129 schools and art clubs submitted entries this year from 26 countries including USA, Kazakhstan, Canada, Korea, India and many more across 4 continents. In total, we’re delighted to say that 5,055 children participated in our Global Canvas competition – it’s been inspiring to see how far our conservation message has spread!

Judging and prize-giving took place at the Natural History Museum on Thursday 7 March 2019. There were 18 finalists vying for first, second and third prizes along with additional Personal Choice awards from guest speaker Melanie Shepherd, David Shepherd’s daughter, and event sponsors Michael O’ Mara Books as well as a new David Shepherd Award given in his memory.

Entries this year displayed a wide range of creativity and interests, featuring habitats such as the ocean, hydrothermal vents, the world of bees, bear caves, spider webs and much more. The continuing battle against plastic pollution was also evident in nearly all the submissions, with representations of the effects of litter and human impact on a variety of habitats.

In first place was George Betts Primary School, based in Smethwick. Their entry, ‘Bees and their Environment’ demonstrated an incredible amount of technical skill while illustrating the colourful, complex world of the bee.

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation - Global Canvas 2019 - George Betts Primary School
Winners of Global Canvas 2019 – George Betts Primary School

In second place was the Kazakhstan-based Art Studio at the Museum of Arts, who submitted an incredible sculpture which exhibited great imagination and technical skill.

The piece, which you can see from the image below, depicted a variety of wildlife crossing an intricate ‘bridge’ structure flowing from land to water and the animals residing in them, and included books displaying different animal habitats hand-drawn by the students. Sadly the Art Studio was not able to join us as the Natural History Museum but we are glad they submitted and hope the children were pleased by the success!

Art Studio at the Museum of Arts, Kazakhstan - Global Canvas 2019 2nd Place
Art Studio at the Museum of Arts, Kazakhstan – Global Canvas 2019 2nd Place

In third place was London-based Heber Primary school, whose submission focused on hydrothermal vents, was a particular highlight for the competition due to the unique and specialist topic of their project.

Their sculpture, created from recycled materials, represented the extraordinarily rich lifeforms which inhabit these deep-sea vents, thought to be the source of live on Earth millions of years ago. The pupils from Heber Primary demonstrated their enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject wonderfully through the intricate, colourful sculpture.

Heber Primary School - 3rd Place, Global Canvas 2019
Heber Primary School – 3rd Place, Global Canvas 2019

 

Jo Elphick, DSWF Education Manager said: “I’ve been really bowled over by the standard of entries this year and plastic pollution continues to be feature as a strong theme throughout the submissions, which shows that children are taking the environmental issues that we face very seriously. The winner, ‘Bees and their Environment’ by George Betts Primary School really blew us away particularly when it came to the intricate attention to detail.”

Mandy Shepherd, David Shepherd’s daughter also attended the event, giving a speech about the importance of art and conservation to the pupils and chose to present the David Shepherd Award to Chinthurst Prep School, for their wonderful submission, an ornate replica of a habitat near to them, Leith Hill.

 

Chinthurst Prep School – David Shepherd Award – Global Canvas 2019

Michael and Lesley O’Mara from Michael O’ Mara books, who have sponsored the event for the past four years, chose Reay Primary School for their Personal Choice award. The submission focused on the ‘Lost Words’ campaign, a book which seeks to reintroduce into children’s vocabulary the essential wildlife words which have been taken out of a popular children’s dictionary.

The Lost Words by Reay Primary School
The Lost Words by Reay Primary School

 

Thanks to all involved in Global Canvas 2019, we look forward already to the competition in 2020!