Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery is going back to nature in 2023! The Gallery is taking part in The Wild Escape, a nationwide project uniting hundreds of museums, schools and families to find evidence of the natural environment in museums.
Led by national art charity Art Fund with support from Arts Council England, hundreds of museums, galleries and historic houses are coming together for the largest ever collaboration between UK museums.
Taking place from January to July 2023, The Wild Escape invites children to find a favourite animal in their local museum and create an artwork imagining its ‘escape’ back to its natural habitat. The pictures and stories children create will be brought together by the Art Fund in a collective work of art that imagines a better future for the wildlife on our doorstep, launched online and in museums on Earth Day 2023 (Saturday 22 April).
Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “We’re delighted to be joining museums and galleries across the country in this exciting project. The Victoria Art Gallery is inviting local schools and families to get involved in a special programme of creative activities celebrating UK wildlife. I hope young visitors to the Gallery will enjoy exploring the collections and learning about our amazing wildlife and the importance of protecting it for the future.”
Jenny Waldman, Director of Art Fund, said: “I’m thrilled that the Victoria Art Gallery is joining hundreds of organisations, from the Outer Hebrides to Folkestone, to connect thousands of children with the natural world through the UK’s truly great museums. Thanks to the invaluable support of Arts Council England, the Wild Escape will empower families and children across the UK to visit and discover our wonderful museums, whilst taking positive action to picture a better future for our wildlife.”
The Gallery will be working closely with local primary schools to offer group visits, where children can be inspired by pictures of animals, create animal habitats using collage, and make sketchbooks to record their observations.
There will be a themed trail around the Gallery, and special displays of sculpture, ceramics, paintings and drawings that celebrate nature, drawn from the Gallery’s collections.
Over the February and Easter school holidays, there will be free drop-in sessions for families, where kids can make beautiful hanging butterflies, butterfly plant labels, and colourful fish and pond collages. There will also be family craft activities on Earth Day – look out for details on the Gallery website: www.victoriagal.org.uk/events.
The Wild Escape is an opportunity to join the urgent conversation about the climate crisis and biodiversity loss and look for positive solutions, in partnership with leading environmental charities the RSPB and WWF and cultural organisations National Trust and English Heritage.
The Wild Escape is inspired by Wild Isles, a landmark BBC series presented by Sir David Attenborough exploring the flora and fauna of the UK.