River of Hope: Merstham Park SchoolBack
In 2022, River of Hope forms a central part of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The Queen has always shown a great love and respect for the natural environment. Through this programme young people from around the world have been encouraged to think about the importance of safeguarding the future of their own natural environment.
Schools worked with their teachers or with professional art practitioners, led by Shona Watt, and received packs which promoted the use of art to teach environmental themes. The young people created imaginative pieces of artwork, using art and design skills and utilising either natural or recycled materials, while thinking about their hopes and aspirations for the next 70 years.
The final designs have a scalloped edging to reference a postage stamp and each contains a silhouette of an inspirational person; be it a local hero, an environmental activist or a member of their school community. Chosen people include David Attenborough, Marcus Rashford and Charlie the dinner lady.
The person on the Merstham Park School featured online in google images when the students were researching suitable imagery to go onto the flag. They have been learning about the oil situation in Nigeria in their geography lessons and felt that this image depicted the situation well. They having been learning about the damage and desperation of the local people vs Shell and wanted to get the message out to the wider world about the impact this devastation caused by Shell has had on local residents, animals and the environment.
Two hundred of the artworks created have been selected to be printed onto silk flags and will be processed as part of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant on the 5 June 2022 and the design from MPS will be one of them. All of the selected designs from around the world can be viewed online at www.riverofhope.co.uk
Following the Pageant, a number of the flags will be displayed as part of a public exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich from 26 September to the 30 October. Once the exhibition is finished, the MPS flag twill be returned to MPS to be displayed proudly in our new home.
Congratulations to Michaela, Mason, Mia, Leana and Holly, who with the support of Mrs Harkness and Mr Tunbridge, have created an amazing and inspiring piece of art which has had a strong impact on the judges.