Will Travers OBE with Jane at the Endangered Species Conference, Thought Foundation
Both 2019 exhibition and conference have been a tremendous success with positive feedback from children and attendees as well as visitors to the exhibition:
Jane's enthusiasm is infectious and her talent prodigious. Her love of wildlife and her ability to communicate that love to young artists, encouraging them to explore new subjects and new mediums, was there for all to see when I had the privilege of attending the 'Where did all the animals go?’ exhibition on the 22nd June. I am full of admiration for her work and for her passion to inspire the next generation to care about the natural world around us.
Will Travers OBE, President Born Free
Jane has worked tirelessly to deliver this programme of work, culminating in the brilliant ‘Where did all the animals go?’ exhibition and conference at the Thought Foundation in June 2019. We are delighted to continue to work in partnership with Jane, fostering a love for the natural world, increasing awareness of the threats and challenges facing wildlife and empowering young people to make sustainable choices.
David Bolton, Education Officer Born Free
To put on an event like this and getting children involved is great. It’s just amazing and Jane has done a wonderful job!
PC Peter Baker, Northumbria Police
Our children have benefited enormously from participating in the exhibition. They have not only learned about animal extinction but have gained vital knowledge about the impact the human race has on these beautiful creatures. The children’s confidence and self-esteem in art has most definitely grown. To see the children's proud faces as they looked at their work on display was a personal highlight. In such a short amount of time, Jane taught them new skills and really developed their "can do" attitude with drawing. She has been a pleasure to work with and the children received such positive praise and responded so well to her. She really brought out the best in them. This exhibition has been such a success and we would love to be part of the next one to bring further awareness to such a worthwhile cause and to help to give Jane's amazing art work the recognition it fully deserves as without her none of this would have been possible.
Quotes from Mortimer Primary Children:
Eashan “I really liked drawing the animals, it was fun.”
Ellen “I liked how we could start again if we made mistakes and do it lots of times.”
Sophie “I enjoyed finding out about how many endangered animals there are and drawing them.”
Harry “I enjoyed knowing that we are helping endangered animals by drawing them.”
Amber “I liked meeting Jane and learning about the endangered animals.”
Elana “Just to know I was one of the people who was chosen to draw the animals and to know I could be saving their lives made me feel really happy.”
Sam “there was no specific way to draw it, your way was the right way.”
Jodie “I really liked working with Jane as she was really encouraging and I was happy when I found out someone wanted to buy the picture of my whale.” (which was a present for the ladies husband.)
Mrs. Lawrenson, Arts Co-ordinator, Mortimer Primary School, South Shields
Image: Workshop feedback from children of Bexhill Academy
Thank you so much for all your help and encouragement with my art
Kate Tooley, Yr 6 St Oswald’s RC Primary School
I am proud, impressed and happy
Chloe, Yr 6 Bexhill Academy, Sunderland
The children are so young and I just can’t believe the quality of the work they are producing.
Suzanne Stanley, conference attendee
It is truly magical to see the children working with Jane. She gives them clear direction and inspires every child that they can achieve. Their Biro work has been truly magnificent and I know the children are incredibly proud of their pieces.
It was magnificent to take the pupils to Thought Foundation and see their faces light up when they saw their work displayed in the gallery space. I feel this should be done regularly across the city as the sense of pride and confidence in children gained from the experience was incredible.
Biro was not something pupils properly explored until working with Jane, since then I have brought Biro art into the curriculum in other year groups and it's fascinating to see how differently children work with a Biro. They work with newfound confidence which is almost the reverse of what you would expect and learning how to turn their mistakes into miracles has, in turn, made them more confident at drawing. We are delighted to be working with everyone on the project'.
Samantha McCulloch, Year 6 teacher, RGS
Robert Year 5 Jarrow Cross with his Biro drawings Reticulated Giraffe and African Elephant at Where Did All the Animals Go? exhibition 2019
The remarkable dedication shown by each child to create their astonishing and accomplished drawings, learning intensely about wildlife.
The pride children exuded seeing their artwork on display in an exhibition.
Each drawing not only tells a story of the individual animal, it also tells a story of each child. Many of the children participating in this project have health issues they strived to overcome to produce their drawings.
Will Travers OBE, gave his time to come back up to our region, specially to attend our conference after speaking at Sage, Gateshead, only a few days before.
The project was supported throughout by Gordon Buchanan, wildlife film-maker.
Fourteen-year-old RGS student Elyse Feenan’s recycling presentation and’ ideas swap’ activity initiated by Christine Egan-Fowler, at the conference was so impactful that many who attended ‘have changed the way’ they recycle. Read about Elyse's presentation here
A ‘Vox Pop’ video was playing throughout the exhibition time at Thought Foundation; we could hear children and their teachers talking about what they had learned.
The Conference report and interview with Jane produced by Chinese media students from Newcastle University captured the spirit of the event: https://youtu.be/USAY8e-sCrQ
The exhibition and conference brought together people who are interested in grassroots action and compassion.
High praise from artists of all ages, teachers and visitors for the outstanding calibre of work the children produced with many requests to buy work or prints.
Watching visitors of all ages read the species information and seeing or hearing the effect each species’ decline had on them.
Participating schools funding their own transport for teachers to bring children to enjoy the exhibition together and participate in question and answer sessions with Jane or fun workshops creating tiger and orangutan drawings in their sketchbooks.
During the pilot exhibition 2019, schools that Jane worked with found time to find cover and resources so they could be involved in the project. Materials were simple and often the space Jane worked in was a gym or hall; sending a signal for Artists to be involved in schools, even though resources and spaces are tight.
The diversity of the speakers was excellent, particularly the addition of the wildlife crime officer. Jane did a great job hosting the event, introducing the event and each speaker. The videos were very effective. The artwork was displayed beautifully and the information on each species was impactful.
Will Travers OBE
Elana Year 4 with her Bengal tiger drawing, during Mortimer Primary School's visit to the exhibition, where children participated in a tiger and orangutan drawing workshop