The Art of Saving Species – Events
Back from the Brink recognises that for many people the arts are the medium through which they first engage with nature and wildlife. For others, creative processes may be a way to deepen an existing connection with natural environments. We hope our gallery below gives you a taste of our sessions and species, as well as some creative inspiration!
Community art experiences and workshops have given hundreds of people the chance to discover more about England’s threatened species. They stimulated their creativity, strengthening their emotional connection to nature and our target species. This is one of the ways people value nature, increasing the likelihood they will act on these emotional connections to save and protect it.
Faith showed us how to make the lizards, starting by making a wireframe, which we then covered with old newspaper to make the body shape, held in place with parcel tape. Working from images of sand lizards Faith helped us to get legs, tail and body size and proportion as accurate as possible.
With a wireframe, we were able to bend the legs and toes to shape. Then the fun part, we decorated them with a mix of recycled snack wrappers and coloured sticky tape to create some that looked pretty lifelike, to those with more artistic patterns.
Neil Aldridge is a conservationist, photographer and filmmaker, as well as a lecturer in Marine and Natural History Photography at Falmouth University, a published author and a professional wildlife guide.
His photography has won awards all over the world, including winning the World Press environment category, the overall title of European Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism award for environmental storytelling.
His work has twice featured amongst the winners of the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest and he has twice been a winner of British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Inspired by the title of Back from the Brink’s project, Colour in the Margins – which aims to halt the decline in arable species – artist Amanda Thesiger designed a creative event, incorporating walking and drawing within the beautiful Kent landscape.
Community artist Linden McMahon was commissioned by Back from the Brink to run a drop-in creative writing activity session inspired by the Willow Tit.
In September 2019 at Victory Wood in Kent, Outdoor Studios artists Sara Trillo and Amanda Thesiger offered a range of activities inspired by the Shrill Carder Bee. The activities reflected aspects of the Shrill Carder Bee; its appearance, nest-making and foraged plants, and its unique high-pitched sound.
Communities of local people were brought to get to capture and get to know moths, make special lanterns, and go on a night walk to celebrate the wildlife of the Brecks.
Norwich-based artist Chris Jackson worked with over one hundred 7 to 9-year-old pupils at Bishop’s C of E Primary School in Thetford to create a magical and mysterious Cabinet of Curiosity! Every student produced their own miniature 3D plants and creatures based on the beautiful but rare flora and fauna of Breckland. Using recycled materials and found objects the workshops helped to raise awareness of this unique endangered wildlife and inspire participants to engage with the local environment in a new way.
As part of our Roots of Rockingham project, communities joined us for a guided walk through Fineshade Wood, learning about the rare species that live there – including the Chequered Skipper, which has been successfully reintroduced by this Back from the Brink project having being extinct in England since 1976!