|A chance chat has led to Kendal College art and design students getting creative with stunning images of seriously endangered species from across South Cumbria.
Lecturer, Steph Fulke, immediately saw the opportunities after talking to her friend, Ellie Kent, who is working on a far-reaching reintroduction programme of threatened flora and fauna.
Back on our Map (BOOM), led by University of Cumbria, with Morecambe Bay Partnership (MBP) spearheading community involvement, is a project made possible through money raised by National Lottery players.
With a talented mix of around 26 budding artists, illustrators, fashion designers and photographers, the brief was to come up with eye-catching designs for postcards aimed at delivering some thought-provoking imagery.
Ellie Kent explained that BOOM was a community driven initiative based on the reintroduction of 10 species through actions intended to encourage people to find out more and get involved.
She added: “A lot of our volunteer work has been hard-hit by Covid restrictions, but we continue on a raft of measures to restore plants, animals and insects to their traditional habitats.
“With such diverse subjects – ranging from dormice to pine marten, Goldilocks aster to Duke of Burgundy butterflies – students had a field day. I have been blown away by the quality of their work, which will be brilliant in promoting BOOM and what we’re doing.
“We’ll be giving the postcards away at future events and hopefully using some designs on cloth bags. They are so beautiful and striking, they are guaranteed to make people notice – and want to find out more.”
Art and design lecturer, Steph Fulke, said there had been a lot of interest during the four-week project, which showed how creative industries could have a real impact on environmental issues.
She added: “There was a lot of joy and excitement in illustrating some very cute animals and lovely plants, but there was realisation too that being creative can build bridges and lead to innovative outcomes.
“People are becoming more environmentally aware and we hope this momentum keeps on going, with our students being ever more conscientious of their choices and actions.
“We loved their diverse work, designed to help BOOM reach out to their audience, and would like the postcards to create a lot of interest.
“We are hoping to have them displayed in a Kendal café which would be great for our students to see that their life and work exists beyond the restrictions of lockdown and they do have a place in the world.”