500 museums across the UK launch art project to confront mass biodiversity loss

More than 500 museums across the UK join with artists and environmentalists to launch an artist-led campaign highlighting biodiversity loss in the Uk. 

Launched on January 24th by the UK’s leading arts charity, Art Fund, the project, titled “ The Wild Escape”, is one of the largest museum collaborations ever funded by the Arts Council England.

The Wild Escape aims to inspire UK primary school-age children to visit museums and create their own wildlife artworks in response to the threat to the UK’s natural environment. 

“It will create a new relationship between museums and the natural world aiming to shape the lives of the children who participate,” a press statement says.

The children’s artwork “will be brought to life in a newly imagined epic-scale artwork,” created by leading immersive games studio PRELOADED, and will be launched on Earth Day (22nd April). 

The project is inspired by the BBC series Wild Isles, presented by Sir David Attenborough, and is in partnership with BBC Bitesize, the free study resource for children.   

Leading British artists supporting this project include Mark Wallinger, Yinka Shonibare, Es Devlin and FKA Twigs, who have all created original works as a contribution to the cause. 

Phoenix picture-winged fly (2023) © Es Devlin

One of the contributors, Es Devlin, says, “we are losing species. We are losing the habitat in which the species can live. It’s an emergency.” Artist and fellow contributor, Mark Wallinger adds,  “Young people are our hope. They’re our best and only hope. So it is absolutely crucial to instil and encourage this message of fragility and the sorry state we have reached.”

According to Rosalind Mist, Director of Education and Youth Engagement, WWF, “the UK is in the bottom 10% of countries globally when it comes to protecting biodiversity, and WWF’s recent Living Planet Report found that population sizes of global wildlife have plummeted by 69% on average since 1970.”

But it isn’t too late to turn things around. Mist believes that it’s the young people of today that are shaping our future of the natural world. 

If you’d like to find out more information about The Wild Escape project and get involved, check out their website here

Red Eight Gallery is delighted to be representing one of Britain’s most talented wildlife photographers, William Fortescue, who has recently put together a collection, “The Art of Survival,” aimed at helping turn the tide on species extinction and safeguarding the health of our planet. 

If you’d like to know more about William and check out his stunning wildlife photography, get in touch.