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21st January 2019

Art & Design students from Newcastle College have been putting plastic under the spotlight at an exhibition staged in Parliament Square, Hanley on Saturday, 19 January.

Drowning Inplastic 16

The 'Drowning in Plastic' exhibition was put together by Foundation Diploma in Art & Design students from Newcastle College taking part in a democracy project funded by the national Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme. North Staffordshire won £35,000 funding from the scheme following a funding bid by locally-based education and arts organisation Partners in Creative Learning (PiCL).

Working with PiCL’s Director Erica Love and artists Selina Oakes, Harley Kuyck-Cohen and Diane Watson, the exhibition featured a dining room scene with place settings for some of the worlds biggest CEOs and politicians and a feast made entirely of plastic.

Erica said: “The idea is to promote and raise awareness of democracy, the students were asked to outline topics which were important to them and then voted on a topic to highlight. They chose the theme Drowning in Plastic, a subject that many people are concerned about and one that was highlighted by Sir David Attenborough in his acclaimed BBC Blue Planet 2 series."

The Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme is a £1.5 million Government fund that supports local and community groups across England in celebrating the 2018 centenary of women gaining the right to vote.

Student Emilia Drag said: “We need to preserve our oceans and all of the creatures living in it, we have started destroying their world and their habitat - now is the time to change this. The world is a complex and beautiful place, let’s not ruin it for future generations to see.”

Erica added: “The funding is being used in North Staffordshire to encourage groups of students to explore politics, democracy and civic life. The Women’s Vote project was instigated to inspire young women to raise their voices and get involved in the local political arena and, who knows, it may inspire a future MP or council leader.”

Arts and education innovators PiCL design and deliver creative learning projects in schools, colleges and community spaces using innovative and interactive experiences to inspire people to learn new skills and to get involved in creating strong communities.

If you'd like to learn more about studying on our Foundation Diploma in Art & Design at Newcastle College, click here for more information and to apply.

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