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Poplar pupil, aged 10, wins London climate art prize

3 November 2022
By Amy Zamarripa Solis

A pupil aged just 10 from Poplar, Tower Hamlets has beaten off competition from over 1,300 young artists to win this year’s Young London Print Prize, which has been supported with a grant from our Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, funded by Westfield Stratford City.

As world leaders gather for COP27 in Egypt, young people from across London have been invited to express their own artistic response to the climate crisis. The winning entry by Sara Ahmed, a Year 6 pupil from Mayflower Primary School in Tower Hamlets, depicts a single plastic bottle floating in the ocean. It was made using clay and ink with a technique called relief printing, and chosen by a group of seventeen year old students who judged all the submissions.

The second prize was scooped by Deimantas Pocuis from Discovery Primary School in Thamesmead for his striking print of a handsome turtle and third prize by Prithvi Anish, a pupil at Foxfield Primary School in Woolwich, for her dramatic portrayal of a sinking ship.

The Young London Print Prize is a competition launched during the Covid pandemic which aims to inspire and showcase the work of young artists. All the work is created and judged by young people themselves. 1,311 pupils from 23 schools took part this year.

Matt Bell, Chair of Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair and Co-Founder of the Young London Print Prize, said: “This competition literally paints a picture of our failure to deal with ecological breakdown and how young people see the defining issue of their generation. It harnesses the creativity of young people and gives them a platform to express how they really feel about the climate crisis.”

According to the latest research, levels of concern about climate change are at an all-time high in Britain. Climate change is now seen as the second most important issue facing the country over the next 20 years, after Brexit (Cardiff University and Climate Outreach, 2022) and Londoners are more worried about climate change than people in any other part of the UK (YouGov, 2022) .

Marie Adebowale-Schwarte, CEO of Foundation for Future London, one of the principal funders, commented: “I’m impressed by the level of creativity, skill and thought that London’s young people have put into art works addressing their very real concerns about the climate emergency. The Foundation for Future London is delighted to have supported The Young London Print Prize through our Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, funded by Westfield Stratford City. Congratulations to all who took part!”

You can see the work of these young artists on display at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair from 3-6 November 2022. They are being exhibited at Woolwich Works alongside more than 500 artists from across the globe, including big names such as Grayson Perry, Yinka Shonibare, Gavin Turk and Julian Opie.

The Young London Print Prize is run by Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair supported by Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund, funded by Westfield Stratford City and delivered by Foundation for Future London, alongside Peabody, Anthesis, Landsec and Boodle Hatfield.

For more information see woolwichprintfair.com.

If you or your school are interested in taking part next year, please contact: matt@woolwichprintfair.com

Photo credit: Sara Ahmed, We Are All Artists at Picadilly Circus, Young London Print Prize & Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair

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Amy Zamarripa Solis

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