Fire, pollution, and destruction are the focus of an astonishing exhibition of children’s art at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke.

Students from four Basingstoke junior schools have been learning about the issues impacting on our climate and they have been playing their part by recycling cloth to produce a work of art.

As many as 322 children have created a 20cm square with their individual design depicting images that are very thought provoking.

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Each school chose their own topic:

  • Oakridge Junior School – Forest Fires
  • Park View Primary School – Ocean Pollution
  • St Bede’s Catholic Primary School – Deforestation
  • Winklebury Junior School – Taiga

These have been sewn into a quilt by members of the Arts Society Basingstoke.

Niamh Reilly, one of the students involved, said: “I am proud of my work and it’s nice to see something I’ve worked hard on displayed in the Willis Museum.”

Mark Peters, chair of governors at Winklebury School, said: “[It is a] Wonderful showcase for the children and staff. So much thought and skill has been used. Very much food for thought for all of us.”

The work has been funded by the Arts Society and led by Winchester textile artist Vanessa Rolf.

She initiated a discussion about the value of our world and its resources which became the focus of their research.

Children were taught the skills of needlework and encouraged to consider the value of repurposing cloth to give it a second life.

Chair of the Arts Society Basingstoke, Gill Waller, said: “Our members loved going into schools to work with the children and the sewing day, when we came together to sew the patches into quilts, was a lovely social occasion.”

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Trustee of the Arts Society, Caroline Coleman, said: “Such an inspirational project going into your local schools and choosing a sewing project has given children new skills and a chance to shine. I congratulate you all on this marvellous project.”

The exhibition at Willis Museum will go on until August 7, 2022.

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