Single Use Planet (2023)

Single Use Planet was a free art exhibition at Southside Shopping Centre, open 19 April to 5 May 2023, of giant plastic jellyfish created by local school children. Over the 17 days the exhibition was open, over 1,900 pupils and members of the public came along to admire the artwork.

Single Use Plastic Exhibition (2023) from Wandsworth Arts on Vimeo.

Every day at the exhibition was filled with activities - during the weekdays, classes from 19 local schools took a trip to visit their very own jellyfish in situ and learn more about the effects of climate change on the environment. Whilst at the weekend, the exhibition was open to the public and Wandsworth families came along to explore the art, add their own eco message, and take part in free drop-in workshops with local artists. There was also a competition running during the exhibition challenging children to create their own jellyfish art using single use plastic, there were over 50 entries and winners will be announced in September 2023, take a look at some of the entries below.

Workshops included:

  • Stamp for Sustainability with Suzanne O’Donnell - Participants were able to Retro Print a call to action for all to reduce waste, repair and recycle!
  • Symbolic Sea Creatures with Grace Holliday – Participants explored the potential of recycled materials by creating unique, impactful and sensory art with an important message
  • Crafts from Scraps with Work and Play Scrapstore - Work and Play Scrapstore diverts over 60 tonnes of materials from landfill and incineration each year, participants got the opportunity to create some art from the rescued materials.
  • Underwater Art with Hannah Coulson - Participants created a colourful collage sea creature to add to the underwater scene.

Single Use Planet worked with over 50 primary classes from schools across Wandsworth to explore single use plastics, and the detriment they have on our planet. Each class created a jellyfish made entirely from single use plastics, which was suspended together in Southside Shopping Centre. After the exhibition each of the schools were able to keep their own jellyfish.    

Artist Blake C Joshua said: “Designing the curriculum for this exhibition and working with local Wandsworth primary schools has been such a tremendous opportunity. Single use plastics are often an out of sight out of mind topic, they are all around us but what happens at the end of their lifecycle? Where does it go? What are the repercussions? I wanted to create an open dialogue and highlight these questions with practical craft-based activities.”

Judi Gasser, Cabinet member for the Environment, gave a speech at the official opening of the exhibition, which was also attended by students, parents, teachers, Blake C Joshua, the Mayor of Wandsworth and senior council members and officers.

She said: “We want to take everyone on our journey to tackle climate change and make Wandsworth more sustainable. Engaging with children is crucial and this is an imaginative and fun way to get the message across about the need to reduce single use plastic.”

Single Use Planet was a collaborative project facilitated by Wandsworth Council and the Royal College of Art, in partnership with Kids Against Plastic and hosted by Southside Shopping Centre with generous support from White Light Ltd. The project was led by artist Blake C. Joshua.


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