Sustainable art

“This is an inspired idea for it will open young minds and eyes to the world about them. Anything that does that is powerful for them and powerful for the planet” Michael Morpurgo, Former Children’s Laureate and award-winning author

Bluebell, Amy, aged 9, Ayrshire

Bluebell, Amy, aged 9, Ayrshire

A wee word from YouthLink ScotlandPrint


Youth work plays a key role in a young person’s development on a range of levels. In its’ many forms it can change the lives of those young people involved by building self-esteem, learning new skills, encouraging positive relationships and it also helps develop a ‘world view’ which widens horizons and promotes good citizenship.

The arts project, It’s Our World, is a fantastic example of using arts and creativity through schools and youth work to develop skills and confidence, as it inspires individual achievement but with a sense of community.

Historic Scotland City of Edinburgh

Historic Scotland City of Edinburgh

It’s Our World is a mass participation arts project. It aims to create the UK’s largest online collection of artwork celebrating the environment.

It will inspire children and young people, aged 4-19, to create artworks to bring their local neighbourhoods, landscapes, and coastlines to life. And it will encourage them to take positive environmental action and take the lead in living more sustainably. It’s Our World involvement can help deliver youth work and curriculum outcomes. It can be a focus for a community project. And it can be part of a residential experience, doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, or participating in the John Muir Award.

Joe, aged 19, John Muir Award

Joe, aged 19, John Muir Award

Subject matter can be approached in lots of ways. It can include observation, looking at local landmarks and neighbourhoods, critical thinking about environmental impacts and ways which to lead more sustainable lives. Artworks can include close up studies of natural forms, sweeping landscapes or studies of urban environments. They can be in any medium including painting, drawing, textiles, printmaking, graphics and photography. Use of recycled and natural materials in creating collages, mosaics and 3D artworks is especially encouraged. It offers a fantastic way for young people to be creative, share the places that inspire them, and be part of a huge collaborative project.

Stone Flower

Stone Flower

All 32,000 UK state primary, secondary, special needs and independent schools have their own unique PIN Code (see below). Involvement can help directly meet experiences and outcomes of many curriculum areas, including Expressive Arts, Design & Technologies, Religious and Moral Education and also provide opportunities for interdisciplinary learning for all abilities.  It can link to Outdoor Learning, Citizenship, Learning for Sustainability. And it can be part of many extra-curricular schemes and youth work projects too. Online Resources are available from Art Resources include ‘How to get started’, environmental and artistic inspirations (including great short films from Jupiter Artland), photography tips, and techniques and materials guidance. Sustainability ideas include suggestions for healthy lifestyles, saving energy and resources, and a range of links for further information and inspiration.

Creative Star Learning, Aberdeen

Creative Star Learning, Aberdeen

Here’s how you can be part of it

  • Register now at Click on Contact or an Upload button to register for a PIN Code. These provide secure access to upload artworks and to moderate the Gallery for nationwide digital display in June 2015.
  • Upload your artworks
  • Share your submission through instagram, twitter, tumblr, Facebook #ItsOurWorld

Closing date for submissions will be 31 May 2015. Uploaded artwork will be showcased on digital screens across the UK from UN World Environment Day 5th June 2015. #ItsOurWorldIt's_our_world _logo_ 4

It’s Our World has been developed in support of The Campaign for Drawing with the active involvement of over 20 environmental, educational and arts partners including The UN World Environment Day, The Eden Project, The Scottish Wildlife Trust, Keep Britain Tidy (Eco-Schools), The John Muir Trust, Jupiter Artland, The National Society for Education in Art & Design and The Royal Photographic Society. We are proud and delighted that the John Muir Trust is a supporter and educational advisor.


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