A Breath of Fresh Air, children’s art tackles air pollution
PUBLISHED: 15:58 25 March 2019
The Village School and UCL Academy team up with pupils in New Delhi for an exhibition about the threat of polluted air in their cities
Two Belsize Park schools have teamed up with fellow pupils in India to create artworks which highlight air pollution.
A Breath of Fresh Air runs until March 29 at the Nehru Centre in Mayfair and includes a range of work by The Village School in Parkhill Road, UCL Academy in Adelaide Road, and Nirmal Barthia School in New Delhi.
Organised by the London International Gallery of Children’s Art, (LIGCA) who are running educational workshops for local schools throughout the week, the free exhibition is a collaboration with environment artist Francesca Busca, whose works are mostly made out of rubbish and found material.
LIGCA aims to use children’s art as a tool to teach pupils about themselves and the world and to promote international understanding through cultural exchange.
They hope A Breath of Fresh Air, which has also been on display at Nirmal Barthia School, will offer a cross-cultural perspective on one of the most pressing issues faced by the planet.
Youngsters researched the causes and effects of air pollution both locally and internationally before arming themselves with art materials such as air masks and pollution dust. They then worked with Busca and Village School art teacher Susie Craven to prepare their artistic responses to the global issue.
The resulting artworks include both figurative, conceptual and text based work about the high pollution levels in their home cities, some of which questions the adult reponse to tackle it.
Craven said the project had invoked some thoughtful, artistic responses with one picture featuring an air pollution monster looming over the London skyline with the creature made out of paint and collected pollution dust.
Another shows a pregnant mum pushing a pram across a zebra crossing with exhaust from the car going past. Both the unborn baby and the child in the buggy wear breathing masks.
“The art work is fabulous and displayed along with it are messages from the children about air pollution such as: “Why should I breathe your fumes? I am the future, let me be the future,” (Sophia age 9) and; “We need to stop air pollution in the city, can we please stop using cars every day,” by Yara age 7.