Public Engagement Day launched new Creative Biosphere exhibition at Independent Arts

People of all ages got creative with weaving, sketching, and soap and wire sculptures at Independent Art’s Public Engagement Day on Saturday 13 August, marking the start of the arts-for-wellbeing charity’s exciting new Creative Biosphere exhibition, which runs until the end of September.

For children, there’s a fun activity and fact sheet, created by students at Carisbrooke College, to guide them round the exhibition. As well as featuring quizzes and suggestions for living more sustainably, the fact sheet includes a Creative Biosphere logo design competition to get involved in.

The exhibition is the culmination of a year-long collaboration, managed by Independent Arts, between the Isle of Wight Education Federation (IWEF) and artist-in-residence Trudie Wilson, exploring the unique natural environment of the Isle of Wight Biosphere.

The exhibition, which was curated by students from Carisbrooke College, features a wide range of subjects – from ammonites and wild flowers to the Brighstone Dragon Tree and the Classic Boat Museum – and an equally diverse range of artistic processes. Lino printing, gelli printing, cyanotypes, photography, weaving, wire and soap sculptures all feature, and provided the inspiration when the public got involved at the Public Engagement Day.

“It was lovely  to see so many people having fun engaging with our Creative Biosphere project at our open day,” said artist Trudie Wilson. “Right from the start, we have been keen to ‘spread the word’ about the uniqueness of the Isle of Wight’s natural environment – particularly its geology and palaeontology – and the importance of living in it sustainably.”

The Creative Biosphere project is a partnership of five cultural organisations, five schools and colleges and five artists, brought together through the Isle of Wight’s Cultural Education Partnership, with the aim of inspiring creativity within young people through the Island’s UNESCO Biosphere Status. The yearlong project was designed to foster an appreciation of the young people’s local environment and heritage, strengthen partnerships an increased awareness of the Island’s Biosphere designation.

The project will culminate with a Takeover Day on Saturday 19 November, when students from each school will take over the cultural organisation they have been working with, and a final exhibition at Quay Arts at the end of the year.

The project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and The Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Beauty (IWAONB), and by the two High Street Heritage Action Zones (Newport and Ryde) and Ventnor Exchange’s #IWILL project.

The current exhibition is open Monday to Saturday 10am-4.30pm until the end of September at Independent Arts Creative Hub, 48 High Street, Newport.

Children creating art
Artwork on display
Artwork on display
Child at art workshop
Funders: Arts Council England, Isle of Wight AONB, The Island Collection, Isle of Wight CEP