More than 180 students from 64 colleges will display their artwork as part of a national exhibition that explores challenges facing the environment.
The ‘Planet Future’ online exhibition is to be launched this Friday and will run until July 22.
The exhibition is being coordinated by the Sixth Form Colleges Association and all pictures can be viewed on the SFCA gallery website.
“This online exhibition is a way of celebrating the arts and recognising excellence in sixth-form colleges,” said Bill Watkin, chief executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association.
“The artwork ̶ all produced by 16-to-19-year-old students in sixth-form colleges across England ̶ indicates how young people are feeling about our climate and the environment, and how they view the wider sustainability agenda.
“But the exhibition also offers an opportunity to celebrate the importance and power of art in education, as well as the artists’ quality, creativity and talent.”
Skills minister Alex Burghart said that SFCA’s Planet Future exhibition highlights the “extraordinary artistic talent” in the sixth-form college sector.
“My congratulations go to all the students involved. The sustainability agenda has never been more important, and the exhibition highlights students’ hopes and fears about the future, while also showcasing their enormous creativity and innovation,” he said.
Student artists didn’t shy away from taking on difficult subjects, such as the war in Ukraine and finding a balance with nature is tackled by students.
Nobody Wins a War by Arin Awojobi explores the human tragedy of the war in Ukraine.
“This composition takes up the theme of the wandering traveller and introduces a semantic field of desolation,” said Awojobi.
“It deals with feelings of present loneliness and future desolation, especially with the Russia-Ukraine conflict that started this year, and the realisation that nobody wins in a war.
The children that become orphans have to keep fighting as everything crashes around them.”
Existential themes about humanity’s survival were also explored by Trinity Fairman, who was studying a BTec level 3 art and design, with her work Finding a Balance (feature image).
“This piece is about Mother Nature versus mankind and reflects how the balance needs to be found to stop doing damage to our planet,” Fairman said.
Other works include Wrapped by Angelika Specht, focussing on how the use of plastic is destroying the natural world, and challenges the viewer to look at themself and consider the effect they are having on the world.
“The three-layer screen print was printed on a recyclable material to highlight that we must start using alternatives to save our planet,” Specht said.
There were some slightly lighter pieces that took a more positive spin on the issues faced by humanity, such as Hope for the Future by Ruby Currie.
“I chose to reflect on ideas I want to see in the future for the theme, the future that I would like to see and hope for, as a young person,” Currie said.
“I thought especially about problems that have the potential to put our future in jeopardy. Instead of focusing on the scary side, I decided to create it as what we can do to change, rather than what will happen if we don’t.”