Rochdale to host Grantham Climate Art Prize mural highlighting regional endangered species

Date published: 17 September 2021

A winning design from a national art competition will feature on a stretch of wall on Baillie Street in Rochdale town centre, highlighting a regional endangered species.

Young people aged 12-25 are being asked to submit designs for the Grantham Climate Art Prize 2021, a competition to raise awareness of local climate change issues and inspire action ahead of the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow this November.

To highlight the issue of biodiversity loss – at a time when a quarter of UK mammals at risk of extinction and 60% of UK’s most important species have decreased in abundance – all designs must feature at least one regional endangered species.

Seven winning designs will be selected and displayed as murals on walls in outdoor locations throughout the country, including in regional Real World Science network art galleries and museums, on social media, and on advertising billboards.

The seven winning designs will be transformed into murals by professional artists, and in addition, the winners will receive £250 in cash.

One of the winning designs will be replicated on a stretch of wall on Baillie Street with an accompanying exhibition taking place at Number One Riverside.

Touchstones will also host a series of workshops at venues including Falinge Park High School, led by artist Bushra Sultana, who will be painting the Rochdale mural.

The Rochdale design should feature one of the following at risk local species: Brown Hare, Floating Water Plantain, Grass-wrack Pondweed, Grey Heron, Pond Mud Snail, Slow-worm, Sphaghum Moss, Twite, Water Vole or White-clawed crayfish.

The judging panel includes climate experts at the Grantham Institute, Octopus Energy, UK Youth for Nature – the UK’s leading youth-led network calling for urgent action to address loss of nature and wildlife, members of the Natural History Museum’s Real World Science network and regional mural artists.

Professor Martin Siegert, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, said: "Art has the potential to inspire minds and touch emotions in a way that science alone often finds challenging.

“Public art offers us a way to engage broad audiences to appreciate the climate problem in multiple interesting and imaginative ways, often reflecting local as well as global issues and consequences.

“We hope the Grantham Climate Art Prize will help raise public awareness at this critical moment, and fuel political determination at COP26 in Glasgow this year.”

The Grantham Institute has partnered with Octopus Energy, UK Youth for Nature and Real World Science network museums, including Touchstones, for the art award.

Designs can be submitted here until Friday 24 September 2021.

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