Pupils’ pride as art graces walls of the Natural History Museum

Year 8 students at Etonbury Academy have their work displayed at the Natural History Museum. Picture

Year 8 students at Etonbury Academy have their work displayed at the Natural History Museum. Picture: Etonbury Academy - Credit: Archant

Students at an Arlesey school are enjoying having their artwork displayed at the Natural History Museum.

A group of Year 8 students at the Etonbury Academy in Arlesey competed against 4,500 entries from 15 different countries to make it through to the final 15 of the David Shepherd Global Canvas Children’s Art Competition 2018.

The students produced a collaborative sculptural piece in response to this year’s theme, ‘into the wild’, which illustrates the student concerns about the decline of the bee population.

A fragmented honeycomb is suspended from a frame to convey the fragility and collapse of bee colonies and it includes drawings which show live bees attempting to work around the hardship they may experience if this decline continues.

Some of the blackened cells are filled with photographs and drawings of some of the causes.

The others are filled with charred drawings of decaying flowers, fruit and vegetables to illustrate the impact this may have on our world.

Art teacher Kate Parsons said: “This gave the students the opportunity to really understand the cause and effects related to this environmental issue and to photograph some of the bees and parasites that he had brought in.”

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As part of the development of the sculpture the students took part in two workshops.

One was run by their history teacher, who is a beekeeper.

He shared his knowledge with the students about the decline in the bee population, and the other was a day long workshop where they made their response.

The annual DSWF Global Canvas Art Competition is part of David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Art for Survival programme and was established in 2004 to encourage young people to express their concern for the environment through art.

Each year they look for imaginative group entries from children aged 16 years and under to use creative media, including art and sculpture, to create a mini-exhibition reflecting the year’s theme.

Year 8 student Leanne Barber said: “It feels amazing to reach the final.

“I’m over the moon that we made it and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”