January 31, 2020

Can environmental awareness be raised through project based art education?

Cathy Samou, 33

I grew up watching The Borrowers mini-series adapted from the 1952 novel of Mary Norton, being mesmerized by the idea of tiny people living under my nose! The child in me still creates all sorts of things that they might need to borrow: miniature houses with functional furniture, clothes, books, musical instruments. The idea of borrowing from nature instead of buying (owning) is pivotal in my art. As an environmental educator and a forest school leader, I often run nature-crafts workshops. I take the children to nature to forage for our materials explaining that we don’t own the natural resources and we should only borrow what we need, respecting the needs of other creatures too. I made these miniature houses exclusively using natural and reclaimed materials. When these creations return to nature where they belong, they will cause no harm or upset no balance. Toys, one of the largest sources of environmental pollution, can be re-thought differently, and be included in an overall project of environmental education. In the era of 3d printers, we still believe that art doesn’t have to be plasticized. Not using plastic can be challenging, but the result comes naturally!

The Fairy Village, 2020Kitchen: W: 21cm D:14cm, H:20cm, Music Hall: W: 26cm, D: 20cm, H: 38cm, The Artist's Attic: W:16cm, D:18cm, H: 23cm, Bathroom: W: 16cm, D:7cm, H: 15cm, Relaxation Corner: W: 17cm, D: 9cm, H: 20cm,The Astronomer's Cave: W: 18cm, D: 29c, H: 24cm, The Fairy Cottage: W: 21cm, D: 18cm, H: 32cm