Young Thamesmead artists triumph in city-wide climate art prize
Six young people from Thamesmead are among the winners in this year’s Young London Print Prize.
Supported by Peabody, the competition invites young Londoners between the ages of 9 and 11 to express their personal response to the climate crisis through the art of printmaking. 386 young people from six schools in Thamesmead took part this year.
The winning entry from across the whole city was created by Afsana Miah, aged 10, and depicts a jellyfish drifting in the ocean. Entitled ‘Alone, Darkness’, this stunning artwork was made using mono printing with lino blocks. Second prize went to Hanna Jelonkiewicz for a powerful artwork called The Crashing World and third prize to Jayden Rodriguez Kent for his skilful, playful print titled Beetle Bug.
Young people find their voice through climate art
According to the latest research, seven out of 10 of young adults in Britain feel ‘worried’ about climate change. But only nine percent believe they have a great deal of influence in decisions about it. The Young London Print Prize was launched to help address this. It aims to inspire the next generation of artists and reveal how young people feel about the climate crisis. Pupils learn how to make prints and prepare their own climate-themed submission to the Prize. All the artworks in the competition are judged by a team of 16- to 17-year-old student curators from across London, including Year 12 students from Thomas Tallis school in Kidbrooke and Woolwich Polytechnic. No adult makes any of the decisions.
The winning prints were revealed on the full 780m2 screen of the Piccadilly Lights – an iconic landmark seen by 100 million people passing through Piccadilly Circus annually, and are now exhibited alongside some of Britain's best loved contemporary artists, including Cornelia Parker and Bridget Riley, at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair from 26 to 29 October.
Supporting the prize is part of Peabody’s wider work to reduce the impact of climate change on people, communities and the environment. Our new sustainability strategy 2023-2026 – shaped by our customers including a group of young advisors – sets outs our commitment to prioritising sustainability in all aspects of our work and create change in our communities.
Richard Ellis, Director of Sustainability at Peabody, said: “The Young London Print Prize is sparking vital conversations at all ages about how we can live more sustainably. Supporting this incredible prize is really important to us. We’re always looking for new ways we can improve sustainability, such as making home improvements, boosting energy efficiency, and reducing our emissions. A huge congratulations to everyone who got involved. Their art is helping shape a better future for the next generations, and it’s fantastic to see young people expressing their thoughts about the climate crisis creatively.”
London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “Art has the power to engage with people of all ages and motivate us to do more to tackle the climate emergency. It’s fantastic to recognise so many talented young people and take inspiration from their artistic impressions of climate change. Let this be further encouragement to do everything in our power to tackle the climate crisis and build a fairer, greener city for all Londoners.”
Matt Bell, Chair of Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair and Co-Founder of the Young London Print Prize, added: “If you want to shape social values and inspire young people to make different choices, art and creativity are completely fundamental.”
Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities at the Royal Borough of Greenwich, where the Prize is hosted, commented: “Congratulations to the brilliant winners of the Young London Print Prize and the young curators who took on the tough task of judging the entries. Born in Woolwich, this competition gives young creatives from all backgrounds an opportunity to exhibit their work alongside international artists and feel empowered to reach their full potential. Young people are our future and their unique interpretations of climate change serve as inspiration to us all to come together and protect the world we live in.”
The Young London Print Prize is run by Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, with support from the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster City Council, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Landsec, Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, powered by Westfield Stratford City, Foundation for Future London, Landsec, Anthesis, Lefranc Bourgeois, Boodle Hatfield and Forster Communications.
This year’s competition launched on 5 June to coincide with the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day.