Grantham Art Prize 2021
Powerful street art unveiled across UK highlighting species loss and climate change ahead of COP26
Wherever you live in Great Britain, you are surrounded by different habitats from ancient forests to wetlands, bogs and human-made canals. Each one supports a diversity of locally important plants, animals and other living organisms. They sustain each other and humans are part of that ecosystem too - but many UK species and habitats are threatened by human activities, including climate change. They need our help now.
For this year's Grantham Climate Art Prize, we invited 12-25-year-olds to design a mural that sends a strong message about the habitats and living organisms under threat across the UK to let people know about the importance of biodiversity loss. We can now reveal the winners.
"This year’s Grantham Climate Art Prize is really important. It is all about the links between biodiversity and climate change. We cannot fix one without fixing the other." - Dr Will Pearse, life scientist at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London.
"I feel privileged to support a prize that enables young artists to communicate in public space their commitment, ideas and sense of urgency about the beauty to be found, and responsibility that comes with, actively being part of the fight for a thriving earth at home and beyond." - Helen Cammock, Grantham Climate Art Prize Patron and Winner of Turner Prize (2019) and Max Mara Art Prize for Women (2018)
Seven murals have been unveiled in seven UK towns and cities depicting species under threat because of climate change and human activity. The murals have been designed by young people who took part in the Grantham Climate Art Prize 2021 ahead of the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
The Grantham Climate Art Prize is organised by the Grantham Institute in partnership with pioneering energy company Octopus Energy and young campaigners UK Youth for Nature (UKY4N).
The 'Writing’s Not On the Wall – Yet' is an online exhibition hosted by the Stoke-on-Trent Museums featuring designs and street art created for the 2021 Grantham Climate Art Prize. Stoke-on-Trent Museums hope this exhibition prompts visitors to consider what extra actions they might take to benefit the environment, and join these young artists in standing up for humanity’s future on a habitable Earth.
Where can I see the murals
The murals are located in:
- East London
In addition, to these seven great locations, we have partnered with UK Youth for Nature's Wild Walls campaign to highlight a further seven brilliant, collaborative murals that celebrate local biodiversity. You can't submit your mural design for these locations, but you can follow their progress on UK Youth 4 Nature's Instagram page.
- Belfast x2
- Hulme, Manchester
A further mural will be painted by artist Bryony-Benge-Abbott in collaboration with school children in Twickenham, Sout-West London.
Who was involved
Our patron: Helen Cammock
Helen is a British artist working in a variety of media including moving image, photography, poetry, spoken word, song, printmaking and installation. She grew up in Staffordshire and Dorset and attended the Royal College of Arts and University of Brighton, she is now based in London. In 2018, Helen won the Max Mara Art Prize for Women and was a winner of Turner Prize in 2019. Helen has used her platform as an artist to raise the issue of climate change to a wide audience, asking questions and opening up a conversation.
Our judging panel:
- Professor Martin Siegert, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London
- Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy
- Representative, UK Youth for Nature
- Representative, Real World Science network
- Ciaran Glöbal and Conzo Throb, the Glöbel Bros (Glasgow)
- Graffwerk, Associated Arts Projects (Leicester)
- Grega Greaves, Creative Arts North Staffs (CANS) (Stoke-on-Trent)
- Michelle Meola (East London, London)
- Charlie Rallings, Brightonthinkbig (Brighton)
- Bushra Sultana (Rochdale)
- Anna Wheelhouse (Nottingham)
- A further mural will be painted by artist Bryony-Benge-Abbott in collaboration with school children in Twickenham, South-West London.
- Dr Will Pearse, Senior Lecturer in Applied Ecology, Imperial College London
- Lily Peck, Research Postgraduate, Imperial College London
- Ana dos Ramos Rodriges, Research Postgraduate, Imperial College London
- Dr Joanne Tippett, Lecturer in Spatial Planning, University of Manchester
- Julianne Joyce, Canal and River Trust
- Dr Tilly Collins, Senior Teaching Fellow, Imperial College London
- Hollie Folkard-Tapp, Research Postgraduate, Imperial College London
- Abi Croker, Research Postgraduate, Imperial College London
- Matt Sanderson, University of Manchester
The Grantham Institute sits at the heart of Imperial College London's work on climate change and the environment. Our vision is for a cleaner, greener, fairer future and it is our mission to engage people beyond the walls of the university with the world-leading research and innovation going on in our community. We began the Grantham Climate Art Prize in 2018 along with the Royal College of Art as part of our public engagement programme, and are glad to have evolved our 2021 plans to work with young people, professional artists and climate scientists and raise awareness of climate change by creating art accessible to all of the public – not just those who attend galleries.
We are delighted to be partnering Octopus Energy who will be offering sponsorship and lending support in building a landing page to collect entries – as they did for their climate change Portraits from the Precipice Award as well as using their billboard advertising space to showcase entries during COP26, and sharing news and updates on social media.
Real World Science network
In 2021, we are working with Wollaton Hall (Nottingham City Museums and Galleries) and the Potteries Museum and Gallery in Stoke on Trent, and Touchstones Gallery in Rochdale to deliver murals that celebrate the biodiversity of three great UK cities. These organisations are part of the Real World Science a network of museums across the UK that use their natural history collections to engage pupils and teachers with science.
UK Youth for Nature
UK Youth for Nature is the UK's leading youth-led network calling for urgent action to address the loss of nature and wildlife. UKYFN are our community partners, experts on art and engaging youth with climate change and environmental issues, and they are working on a complementary series of seven murals across the UK to highlight the loss of nature and wildlife.